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The Forum > Article Comments > Power failure: some inconvenient renewable energy realities > Comments

Power failure: some inconvenient renewable energy realities : Comments

By Geoff Carmody, published 30/1/2018

Stated energy policy is to deliver affordable, reliable power, with lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Policy isn't delivery.

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Aiden, if the challenge is to reduce CO2 emissions, then that is the challenge.

You claimed that emissions are decreasing and nominated a source to support your case.

I pointed out that your cited document does nothing of the kind.

You responded by moving the goal posts, to only consider some emissions, which makes the discussion pointless.

Aiden, please explain why CO2 emissions are relevant and dangerous only when they are due to the generation of electricity, if that is your position. Personally, I feel that stance is irrational and unsupportable. Over to you.
Posted by SingletonEngineer, Tuesday, 30 January 2018 8:13:19 PM
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One of those inconvenient truths is. In order to lower carbon emission, lower the cost of reliable base load power!

The only way we can do both is with thorium. Namely in walk away safe, molten salt reactors.

And we can afford these power plants if we just use the brains we were born with and accept other folk's nuclear waste, then use the molten salt reactors to harvest enormous free energy that other folk will pay us annual billions to reprocess then safely bury.

We could earn enough proving that service to build a couple of dozen molten salt 350 MW thorium reactors and then use them to safely burn other folk's nuclear waste until all that is left, is completely spent fuel and far less toxic waste.

That is then eminently suitable as long life space batteries, we could use in our new aerospace industry. And a win/win/win all round!

Time to stop with the moribund prevarication and allowing special vested interest to steal our best possible future.
Alan B.
Posted by Alan B., Tuesday, 30 January 2018 10:04:08 PM
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Bazz,
Batteries can be practical for dispatchable backup.
But there are a it of people who seem to think that because it is (at current prices) impractical to use batteries to provide the insane amount of dispatchable capacity that it would take to totally eliminate generation from fossil fuels, it therefore means batteries shouldn't be used to provide dispatchable backup at all, and should be confined to uses such as smoothing and frequency adjustment.

Their reasoning error seems quite clear to me, but can you spot it?

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SingletonEngineer,

The overall challenge is to reduce the rate of increase (and ultimately the amount) of CO2 in the atmosphere.
A subset of that is reducing CO2 emissions.
And a subset of that subset is reducing the CO2 emissions from electricity generation.

While we should not ignore the other parts the challenge, there's good reason to focus on emissions from the generation of electricity; it's one of the biggest parts of the problem, yet it can be solved relatively easily even with existing technology. The commonly used metaphor is "low hanging fruit".

The article was about CO2 emissions from electricity generation. Neither ttbn nor ateday claimed to be referring to something different. It was you, not I, who shifted the goalposts. And as shifting electricity generation to renewables does not directly impede (and if done right, may actually enhance) other sectors cutting emissions, the discussion is far from pointless, and I regard your claim otherwise as irrational and unsupportable.
Posted by Aidan, Wednesday, 31 January 2018 1:28:24 AM
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Hi Aidan,

You pointed out earlier that " ..... concessional loans to renewable energy generators, which would reduce both emissions and costs."

Thank goodness for that. I thought that maybe every shonky energy company would hop in for the subsidies. I'm glad they're all so above-board clean, that it's only 'concessional Lons' they're after.

By the way, electric cars are clearly the transport means of the future, since they produce no CO2. Well, except that some has to be produced by existing power stations in order to have some of their electricity coming out of the power-point and into the car. Oh, and the energy used to produce (and later dispose of) the batteries. And the vehicles themselves. But apart from that .......

Cheers,

Joe
Posted by Loudmouth, Thursday, 1 February 2018 12:07:28 PM
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More bad news for renewables, or rather for the rest of us.
http://tinyurl.com/yckzcp4s

This article refers to an article in the German Economics Journal.

The Real Lesson of the Energiewende is that the German Economy uses Too Much Energy
By Brian Davey, originally published by Feasta

January 31, 2018

Whether in German or English the data he presents is bad news because
it is about the difficulty of storing electricity for the German
economy at its current scale of energy and electricity use and
storing energy is going to be necessary to further expand renewable
generation without having fossil fuel based generation to back it up.

Bazz: the conclusion appears to be that if you do not have fossil fuel
to back up the renewables you must reduce your electricity consumption
and your standard of living.
That is my conclusion when taken together with this talk by Nathen Hagens.

https://postcarbon.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u=311db31977054c5ef58219392&id=8306382408&e=36becf6230

I hate those long urls;

http://tinyurl.com/y7mvcy59

It certainly looks like Australia with our bunch of 24% & 50% pollies
has shoved our heads in deep do do.
Posted by Bazz, Friday, 2 February 2018 1:20:27 PM
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Bazz. Your logic is impecable.

David
Posted by VK3AUU, Friday, 2 February 2018 2:55:27 PM
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