Renewables in US Set for Fast Growth

If new capacity represents 3% of total capacity, then it takes 33 years to completely replace all generation infrastructure. If one 'starts the clock' at 2010, then presumably by 2040 all the US generation capacity will be renewable. In 2019 wind will contribute an additional 2% to the grid and solar an additional 1%. This is a bit misleading since solar and wind need battery storage in order to match production to demand, however those investments are under way.

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7 hours ago, Meredith Poor said:

If new capacity represents 3% of total capacity, then it takes 33 years to completely replace all generation infrastructure. If one 'starts the clock' at 2010, then presumably by 2040 all the US generation capacity will be renewable. In 2019 wind will contribute an additional 2% to the grid and solar an additional 1%. This is a bit misleading since solar and wind need battery storage in order to match production to demand, however those investments are under way.

Although the game may well change as installing and running renewables becomes considerably cheaper (including storage) than just the continued running of fossil fuelled generators. Will we see protectionism, subsidises and anticapitalistic policies to keep fossil fuel generators going? 

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3 hours ago, DA? said:

Although the game may well change as installing and running renewables becomes considerably cheaper (including storage) than just the continued running of fossil fuelled generators. Will we see protectionism, subsidises and anticapitalistic policies to keep fossil fuel generators going? 

Only for as long as the incumbents have the resources to influence politics. Once their money runs out, the politicians don't care anymore.

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(edited)

4 hours ago, DA? said:

Although the game may well change as installing and running renewables becomes considerably cheaper (including storage) than just the continued running of fossil fuelled generators. Will we see protectionism, subsidises and anticapitalistic policies to keep fossil fuel generators going? 

We are now seeing that with the nuclear industry. Old plants past their expiration date are being subsidized by the customers. Zero subsidies for all sides is probably the best solution. Let the competition be equal. 

U.S. electricity generation by energy source

Edited by ronwagn
added reference
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Oil may be hurt as electric cars take market share but expect nat gas to get a big chunk of that new electricity demand. Another boon for nat gas is nuclear and coal will slowly fade as renewables become cheaper. Not all FF are created equal. 

Interesting the media dosen't talk much about how renewables are killing off nuclear at the risk of a slowed response to climate change. This is part of the reasoning for subsidizing nukes. Nat gas does pollute more. Kinda catch 22 situation for greenies. 

Investing in nat gas is a no brainer for decades.

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26 minutes ago, Boat said:

Investing in nat gas is a no brainer for decades.

^ this.

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6 hours ago, ronwagn said:

We are now seeing that with the nuclear industry. Old plants past their expiration date are being subsidized by the customers. Zero subsidies for all sides is probably the best solution. Let the competition be equal. 

U.S. electricity generation by energy source

New tech's need subsidises to break into markets but as soon as they do yes totally a levelled playing field with all costs included.

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12 minutes ago, DA? said:

New tech's need subsidises to break into markets but as soon as they do yes totally a levelled playing field with all costs included.

Just like Tesla?

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34 minutes ago, Tom Kirkman said:

Just like Tesla?

Yup once the technology is on a level playing field for sure. But of course ICE vehicles have to pay for all the health damage and so on that they do to make it fair.

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Why do new techs need subsidies ? How do you define a level playinv field ? That's a field where the state helps one actor and not the other ?

The effect of subsidies on EVs in Norway is that those EVs will cost much more than if people just waited for the price to come down. Also, they're of bad relative quality because they're first generation.

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8 minutes ago, DA? said:

Yup once the technology is on a level playing field for sure. But of course ICE vehicles have to pay for all the health damage and so on that they do to make it fair.

Spoons make people fat.  Tru fax.

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4 minutes ago, JunoTen said:

Why do new techs need subsidies ? How do you define a level playinv field ? That's a field where the state helps one actor and not the other ?

The effect of subsidies on EVs in Norway is that those EVs will cost much more than if people just waited for the price to come down. Also, they're of bad relative quality because they're first generation.

Subsidises are needed to stop stagnant technologies stopping new ones coming in. A level playing field when all costs are included, many the general population absorbs such as medical treatment due to population. Yes states do mess with the economy all the time, often depends on who pays the biggest bribe/donation.

The cost of EV's may have come down in the end but this speeds up the process. Some are bad quality but that's changing fast.

6 minutes ago, Tom Kirkman said:

Spoons make people fat.  Tru fax.

twisting it doesn't change it.

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(edited)

8 minutes ago, DA? said:

Subsidises are needed to stop stagnant technologies stopping new ones coming in. A level playing field when all costs are included, many the general population absorbs such as medical treatment due to population. Yes states do mess with the economy all the time, often depends on who pays the biggest bribe/donation.

The cost of EV's may have come down in the end but this speeds up the process. Some are bad quality but that's changing fast.

And how do stagnant technologies do that ? They use militias to destroy their plants ?

Everyone knows the clean air of the countryside is better for their lungs. People choose to live in cities. Besides, you haven't even demonstrated that the net effect on health is negative. Fossil fuels have historically provided the cheapest way to transport food and medicine, you need to take that inti account before calculating.

Yes states mess with the economy but they shouldn't. However there is no amount of bribery that can stop a genuine disruption.

Subsidies don't speed up the lowering in costs of EVs, because subsidies mean that manufacturers can sell more cars that cost a lot to produce than they otherwise would without subsidies, thus removing part of the incentive to reduce the costs.

I'm a true believer in the EV revolution, but not in subsidies.

Edited by JunoTen
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1 hour ago, JunoTen said:

And how do stagnant technologies do that ? They use militias to destroy their plants ?

Everyone knows the clean air of the countryside is better for their lungs. People choose to live in cities. Besides, you haven't even demonstrated that the net effect on health is negative. Fossil fuels have historically provided the cheapest way to transport food and medicine, you need to take that inti account before calculating.

Yes states mess with the economy but they shouldn't. However there is no amount of bribery that can stop a genuine disruption.

Subsidies don't speed up the lowering in costs of EVs, because subsidies mean that manufacturers can sell more cars that cost a lot to produce than they otherwise would without subsidies, thus removing part of the incentive to reduce the costs.

I'm a true believer in the EV revolution, but not in subsidies.

Try learning some basic economics.

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1 hour ago, DA? said:

Try learning some basic economics.

Hi DA, rather than what could be construed as an insulting reply, could you advise which part(s) you disagree with please?  This discussion is of great interest to me and I would like to listen to all points of view.

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(edited)

3 hours ago, DA? said:

Try learning some basic economics.

Go ahead and explain to me how subsidies work as an incentive to reduce costs, or how you have calculated that fossil fuels have a net negative effect on the health of the world population, or how stagnant technologies can prevent a disruption in a non-totalitarian globalized world...

I do know basic economics and have read a few books about economics.

Edited by JunoTen
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(edited)

DA - loves to listen to his/her own BS. That's the problem, FF have greatly improved the quality of life of billions of people around the world. You need to understand this basic fact. The world population has been trending up ever since FF have become commercialized. Wonder, how you are able to type your silly comments on here without the use of Plastic? 

Edited by Bobby P
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10 hours ago, JunoTen said:

And how do stagnant technologies do that ? They use militias to destroy their plants ?

Everyone knows the clean air of the countryside is better for their lungs. People choose to live in cities. Besides, you haven't even demonstrated that the net effect on health is negative. Fossil fuels have historically provided the cheapest way to transport food and medicine, you need to take that inti account before calculating.

Yes states mess with the economy but they shouldn't. However there is no amount of bribery that can stop a genuine disruption.

Subsidies don't speed up the lowering in costs of EVs, because subsidies mean that manufacturers can sell more cars that cost a lot to produce than they otherwise would without subsidies, thus removing part of the incentive to reduce the costs.

I'm a true believer in the EV revolution, but not in subsidies.

If the subsidy goes direct to the consumer in the form of a cashback* then this creates an incentive to buy an EV. As production levels grow, propmoted by the cashback this generates significant economies of scale for the manufacturer which further reduces costs. 

We have seen this work in this way with Solar and Wind where costs have been massively reduced over the past couple of decades. 

*The subsidy can be alternative viewed as a reward to the consumer for opting for a vehicle with zero tail pipe emissions. The main benefit of EV's are the health benefits of zero tailpipe emissions, particularly in urban environments. Reducing CO2 is a secondary consideration. 

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(edited)

2 hours ago, Bobby P said:

DA - loves to listen to his/her own BS. That's the problem, FF have greatly improved the quality of life of billions of people around the world. You need to understand this basic fact. The world population has been trending up ever since FF have become commercialized. Wonder, how you are able to type your silly comments on here without the use of Plastic? 

You could probably use a similar argument for the benefits of lead piping for conveying water in a sanitary fashion. The fact that lead piping probably helped improve public health by reducing the risks of water borne  diseases does not mean we shouldn't look for better alternatives once they become available. 

Edited by NickW
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12 hours ago, DA? said:

Yup once the technology is on a level playing field for sure. But of course ICE vehicles have to pay for all the health damage and so on that they do to make it fair.

That is why we should go to natural gas for those vehicles, and ships that electric can't handle or sell.

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I hope the EIA is right. We're in a very enviable position in the US with a maturing renewable infrastructure, and a growing energy export industry. IMHO they support each other, and both are good for the economy. Re-investment can mean more of both.

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 Although the IEA figures are useful up to a point they tell only part of the story. Bear in mind that without large scale storage, which is still being developed, solar and wind generation (about 13 per cent of US generation by 2020) has to be matched by conventional capacity - that is, the grid planners have to design the grid so that it will still deliver when the sun doesn't shine and the wind doesn't blow. The rise in gas generation, which is due to a host of reasons, means that it is easier to accommodate renewables as gas generators are much easier to ramp up and down than coal plants. Now, bear in mind that most states have some requirement that a certain amount of power be green. Without that legislative force it is doubtful whether any grid would bother much with green power, beyond token amounts. They are often a lot of trouble in balancing load and supply, force unwelcome generator choices and require a lot of investment to connect them, as well as increase the risk of brown and black outs and so on. As it is the rise of gas generation means that these penalties are reduced.

In other words, solar and wind are there by community choice, due to a supposed saving in carbon emissions, not because they are in any way superior technologies. Talk of subsidies in this context is ridiculous. Withdraw the subsidies and legislative backing and solar and wind go away and stay away.

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3 hours ago, markslawson said:

 In other words, solar and wind are there by community choice, due to a supposed saving in carbon emissions, not because they are in any way superior technologies. Talk of subsidies in this context is ridiculous. Withdraw the subsidies and legislative backing and solar and wind go away and stay away.

Some of the states with mandates that have been surpassed.

IA: required 105MW of generating capacity; 2017: 37.2%, 7,312MW wind installed, 2,582MW under construction
KS: required 20% by 2020; 2017: 36.1%
MN: required 40% by 2017; 2017: 46.1% (75.9% w/hydro)
MT: required 15% by 2015; 2017: 45.1% w/hydro, 7.8% w/o
ND: required 10% by 2015; 2017: 31.8% w/hydro, 26.9% w/o
OK: required 15% by 2015; 2017: 32.3%, (36.1 w/hydro)
OR: required 25% by 2025; 2017: 76.3% w/hydro, (13.6% w/o)
SC: required 2% by 2021; 2017: 2.99%, (5.9% w/hydro)
SD: required 10% by 2015; 2017: 30.2% (73.1% w/hydro)
TX: required 10,000MW by 2025; 2017: 15.6%, 23,000MW wind installed, 6,000
under construction
VT: required 75% by 2032; 2017: 99.6% w/hydro (41.3% w/o)
WA: required 15% by 2020; 2017: 80% w/hydro (8.2% w/o)

Based on your incorrect supposition that if you withdraw the legislative mandates wind and solar will go away and stay away none of the mandates should have been exceeded.  But they have been - some by a huge margin.  And, you have states like Idaho which has no mandate, and yet, somehow manages to have 21.9% of it's electricity generated by non-hydro renewable.

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21 hours ago, NickW said:

You could probably use a similar argument for the benefits of lead piping for conveying water in a sanitary fashion. The fact that lead piping probably helped improve public health by reducing the risks of water borne  diseases does not mean we shouldn't look for better alternatives once they become available. 

I never said we shouldn't look for alternatives. But the fact that someone has the audacity to state that "FF" are directly involved in harming "humans" is just wrong. When, it's quite the opposite. 

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