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Basic Economics will make solar bigger

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On 8/10/2018 at 6:11 AM, Sebastian Meana said:

Solar power will go down to a list of bunch of things that sound nice but don't work, because of physics and economics, economics can't make anything if engineering and physics don't let it.


What are you talking about? - its already happening... and working...

A fully solar or even fully renewable energy grid has to be incredibly over-engineered and complicated in order to work, electrolysis is a no-go system since it hardly get over 80% efficiency to charge or discharge. And a rooftop descentralized system is more expensive and harder to control and syncrhonize, AND YOU NEED TO SYNCRHONIZE PHASES, otherwise you will get short circuits or over-voltages among other stuff that 3 phase power can get when the 3 phases don't work with the same power, what most people doesn't realize about grid scale powerplants is that not only they have to produce power, but they also have to spin their generators at the same time to make all the phases of a powergrid work together, and then you got harmonics that are generated by wind turbines. 

These issues were solved decades ago... all the equipment these days is self synchronizing, and to be certified as safe to use on a grid connect basis, must satisfy a raft of other safety related requirements inc auto disconnect in less than 10milliseconds etc and more. Havnt you seen all the renewable power plants working around the world just fine for the last several years/decades?

Of course solar is not the only answer and of course if doesnt lend itself to be used in places where its not sunny! Care to state anymore of the obvious? It is, and should be, used to maximum benefit where the economics justify it. The economics of todays solar systems are very cost competitive.

The problem with renewables is, and has always been, the inconsistent and variable nature of the generated energy. This is why energy storage systems are whats holding back more extensive use of renewables .Energy storage systems are alot more expensive than the generation itself, or if cheaper systems are chosen such as pumped hydro (water is pumped to altitude and therefore stores the energy as potential when it can be used later by hydroelectric means) then you have alot more inefficiency introduced which also therefore lowers the yeild and increases cost per kwh.  This is why developments in energy storage are so crucial. You can make all the renewable energy you like but it wont ever be a substitute for fossil fuel or nuclear baseload if you cant guarantee 100% availability at all times.

None of this is new information, its simple basic business principles, and when the cost of producing clean energy is lower than by other means - then we will drop the carbon energy generation in wholesale fashion. Until then - we keep our gas and coal plants running. The space is changing rapidly tho - it wont be too much longer and we will see big changes in wholesale energy generation. If not in my lifetime, certainly my children will see it...



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On 8/10/2018 at 3:02 AM, ronwagn said:

Solar and wind are great for off grid, especially if backup batteries are sufficient. Biomethane can also be used if the right waste products are available in sufficient quantities. I don't think any of these are competitive for large grid applications. Natural gas is abundant, clean, and cheap in most developed countries. 

Natural Gas is very practical and you can blend in biogas. Its estimated that the UK will be adding 140-150TWH of cleaned up biogas to the national grid by 2030. Thats 140TWH we don't have to import.

If in future a situation arises where there is intermittent supply of renewable energy above the grids ability to absorb or store as electricity one option is to convert to Hydrogen and blend into the NG network. You can add 5-10% of Hydrogen without any issue arising. If the Uk builds the proposed 30GW of wind farms in the North Sea this may well be an option to handle surpluses. 

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