Land requirements for renewable energy

thebestusernamesaretaken

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Already on it!
Since you went there:

We can kill two birds with one hypothetical stone with this


or just do this:

 

Wildabeast

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$12,000 installed with costs rising, not lowering, is not an economical solution.
Not to go off on an EV tangent, but many electric car manufactures are designing in V2H and V2G (vehicle to home, vehicle to grid) capabilities that essentially allow the massive battery in your EV to serve the same purpose as the power wall would. Either to do rate arbitrage by charging cheap and selling back high, or to act as a backup generator for your home should the grid power go out.
 

BigHornRam

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"My banker called on me to say: “Winton, I am disappointed in you.”

That riled me, but I held my temper as I asked, “What’s the matter with you?” He bellowed: “There’s nothing the matter with me. It’s you! You’re crazy if you think this fool contraption you’ve been wasting your time on will ever displace the horse.”

From my pocket I took a clipping from the New York World of November 17, 1895, and asked him to read it. He brushed it aside. I insisted. It was an interview with Thomas A. Edison: “Talking of horseless carriage suggests to my mind that the horse is doomed. The bicycle, which, 10 years ago, was a curiosity, is now a necessity. It is found everywhere. Ten years from now you will be able to buy a horseless vehicle for what you would pay today for a wagon and a pair of horses. The money spent in the keep of the horses will be saved and the danger to life will be much reduced.” "


don't be that guy BHR ;)
I'm just trying not to be this guy.

 

Ben Lamb

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As a species, we are often bound to earth by our lowest common denominator.

Nobody wanted to think that Christopher Columbus could find the western route to the orient.

Marco Polo was called a liar & fraud after coming back from China.

Everybody thought Orville & Wilbur Wright were bonkers.

The whole world told Jim Morrison there was no way to break on through

Miss Piggy never believed Kermit could be a Broadway star.

Have some faith brother, exploration & innovation are two of humankind's greatest virtues. Even if Elon is one of the goofiest Bond Villians.
 

jryoung

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Unable to determine due to velocity
What is your peak rate vs off peak rate currently?
$.24 v $.54

But it's more complicated than that as it's tiered. The calculator that my install company ran for me was a pay off of my out of pocket in roughly 12 months or so. In a typical month it will knock between $250-300 off my electric bill utilizing ~810kwh of capacity (27kwh x 30 days).
 

BigHornRam

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$.24 v $.54

But it's more complicated than that as it's tiered. The calculator that my install company ran for me was a pay off of my out of pocket in roughly 12 months or so. In a typical month it will knock between $250-300 off my electric bill utilizing ~810kwh of capacity (27kwh x 30 days).
Wow! You Californians are nuts! Good luck with that.
 

Wind Gypsy

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SO is the idea of localized generation/home scale generation an issue of economics or engineering or both?

Disclaimer: I’m an engineering drop out with a construction management degree and have no actual experience with distribution level or residential solar but am very familiar with cost factors, risk, and challenges of utility scale solar. I’m out of my element with some of this stuff so take it with a grain of salt.

Widespread localized/residential solar are not close to competing with $/watt of utility solar. The current giant solar farms become like a giant factory assembly line and the economies of scale make a huge difference. It’s like comparing a custom shop building a one off hot rod to a Toyota factory building 70k camrys that are already spoken for by dealerships.

For people who use enough electricity, it seems to make sense for them to have their own standalone generation but its hard to predict what regulation will look like in the future for folks who rely on the economics of selling excess generation to the utilities.

Going back to the grid having to generate electricity that matches the load - with a ton of localized generation, i'm not sure how a utility is supposed to plan their generation, transmission, and distribution infrastructure if they can't understand who will actually need generation from their nuke/coal/gas/renewable generators. Matching the generation to the demanded load means that there is always some generation being curtailed to avoid generating in excess. Electricity needs to go somewhere, it can’t just be stored in transmission lines. Smaller solar installations aren’t subject to North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) registration and thus aren’t able to be controlled the same. If all of the grid is powered off decentralized solar, I don’t know how you could make sure the all these small generators are being curtailed when its sunny and 70 and people don’t need lights, AC, or heat but all the panels are churning out electricity. Honestly there may be a simple fix already that I’m ignorant to but I’m thinking out loud here.

From a functional electrical engineering standpoint, I believe it would be fairly easy to build future distribution or update some current distribution infrastructure to accommodate many parties tied into the grid with their own little solar generation. But if everyone is self sufficient, what will make the utilities keep their infrastructure and any reserve capacity ready and available if they are not getting revenue from rate payers? I’m guessing that many independent generators tied into the grid comes with additional risks to grid stability.
 
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Wildabeast

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Disclaimer: I’m an engineering drop out with a construction management degree and have no actual experience with distribution level or residential solar but am very familiar with cost factors, risk, and challenges of utility scale solar. I’m out of my element with some of this stuff so take it with a grain of salt.

Widespread localized/residential solar are not close to competing with $/watt of utility solar. The current giant solar farms become like a giant factory assembly line and the economies of scale make a huge difference. It’s like comparing a custom shop building a one off hot rod to a Toyota factory building 70k camrys that are already spoken for by dealerships.

For people who use enough electricity, it seems to make sense for them to have their own standalone generation but its hard to predict what regulation will look like in the future for folks who rely on the economics of selling excess generation to the utilities.

Going back to the grid having to generate electricity that matches the load - with a ton of localized generation, i'm not sure how a utility is supposed to plan their generation, transmission, and distribution infrastructure if they can't understand who will actually need generation from their nuke/coal/gas/renewable generators. Matching the generation to the demanded load means that there is always some generation being curtailed to avoid generating in excess. Electricity needs to go somewhere, it can’t just be stored in transmission lines. Smaller solar installations aren’t subject to North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) registration and thus aren’t able to be controlled the same. If all of the grid is powered off decentralized solar, I don’t know how you could make sure the all these small generators are being curtailed when its sunny and 70 and people don’t need lights, AC, or heat but all the panels are churning out electricity. Honestly there may be a simple fix already that I’m ignorant to but I’m thinking out loud here.

From a functional electrical engineering standpoint, I believe it would be fairly easy to build future distribution or update some current distribution infrastructure to accommodate many parties tied into the grid with their own little solar generation. But if everyone is self sufficient, what will make the utilities keep their infrastructure and any reserve capacity ready and available if they are not getting revenue from rate payers? I’m guessing that many independent generators tied into the grid comes with additional risks to grid stability.
I am an engineer, but will admit upfront my lack of knowledge in this area. What I will say is that I have multiple solar systems in off grid setups with battery storage, and they are somehow able to “turn off” the flow of energy when the batteries are fully charged. My panels are capable of producing way more than I use, but I have nowhere to send that extra capacity since they are off grid. I’m not sure how they do that, but they do. So I would assume they could do the same thing when the grid does not need what they have to offer.

Additionally, there’s quite a bit of commentary on the solar and EV forums regarding the potential future use of recycled EV batteries to provide commercial energy storage for the grid - something that doesn’t exist today. I’ve not delved into it enough to determine whether it’s just rhetoric or truly viable, but it is a pretty hot topic and makes sense on the surface. As with any hyperbolic issue, separating the the hype from the reality takes some research, an open mind and a bit of intelligent discernment. If you don’t have all 3 of those, then it’s just rhetoric or hyperbolic opinion whether you want to admit it or not.

What I will say, though, is that based an open mind, my research and my very limited intelligence, if looked at from total systems and impact standpoint, our current thinking around renewable energy is misguided. Wind, solar and hydro in their current incarnations, also do sufficient harm to the environment that, at scale, don’t adequately offset the harm of non-renewable fossil options. My gut seems to keep going back to nuclear as the best option we have today, but that has it’s own set of challenges which in my mind seem to be more political and fear based.

There’s no easy answers, but there’s also no excuse for not continuing to try to figure it out. The latter seems to have completely disappeared in the current political climate. It’s all about pointing out why the other side isn’t right as a matter of principle vs collaborating on real solutions. We can, and must, do better as a society.

Apologies to @Wind Gypsy for using a response to his post for me to rant - my comments are definitely not directed towards him. I’m just saddened and completely frustrated with the political polarization that’s currently preventing real solutions to real problems in our society. We have the intellectual capacity to solve these problems. But whether we have the political will (or lack of political bias) is TBD.
 
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BigHornRam

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Disclaimer: I’m an engineering drop out with a construction management degree and have no actual experience with distribution level or residential solar but am very familiar with cost factors, risk, and challenges of utility scale solar. I’m out of my element with some of this stuff so take it with a grain of salt.

Widespread localized/residential solar are not close to competing with $/watt of utility solar. The current giant solar farms become like a giant factory assembly line and the economies of scale make a huge difference. It’s like comparing a custom shop building a one off hot rod to a Toyota factory building 70k camrys that are already spoken for by dealerships.

For people who use enough electricity, it seems to make sense for them to have their own standalone generation but its hard to predict what regulation will look like in the future for folks who rely on the economics of selling excess generation to the utilities.

Going back to the grid having to generate electricity that matches the load - with a ton of localized generation, i'm not sure how a utility is supposed to plan their generation, transmission, and distribution infrastructure if they can't understand who will actually need generation from their nuke/coal/gas/renewable generators. Matching the generation to the demanded load means that there is always some generation being curtailed to avoid generating in excess. Electricity needs to go somewhere, it can’t just be stored in transmission lines. Smaller solar installations aren’t subject to North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) registration and thus aren’t able to be controlled the same. If all of the grid is powered off decentralized solar, I don’t know how you could make sure the all these small generators are being curtailed when its sunny and 70 and people don’t need lights, AC, or heat but all the panels are churning out electricity. Honestly there may be a simple fix already that I’m ignorant to but I’m thinking out loud here.

From a functional electrical engineering standpoint, I believe it would be fairly easy to build future distribution or update some current distribution infrastructure to accommodate many parties tied into the grid with their own little solar generation. But if everyone is self sufficient, what will make the utilities keep their infrastructure and any reserve capacity ready and available if they are not getting revenue from rate payers? I’m guessing that many independent generators tied into the grid comes with additional risks to grid stability.
Some other thoughts to add to this well thought out post.

Wind and solar are not reliable. Wind doesn't always blow, and the sun doesn't always shine. That's why large scale storage has to be part of the system going forward, but it has to be economical and environmentally safe as well. That's a big challenge.

Also California has started using a tiered use system to encourage consumers to use more of their electricity during off peak hours and less during peak hours. Right now peak hours are 5 to 9 pm on weekdays only. Night time would be the ideal time to recharge your electric vehicles . What happens when 5 to 10 million new EV users start charging their equipment at night? When the sun isn't shining and these solar farms aren't producing? Will that time become peak hours too? Something to think about.
 

MTGomer

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Ideally, batteries would store the mid-afternoon's overproduced solar and then dispatch it onto the grid at night.

That's not what's happening now though.


Right now, Arizona opens the fuses of our own solar assets in the morning and early afternoon, because California's mandates force them to produce it. With no where to go, we buy it at a negative rate (they pay us to take it). When peak time rolls around, they are short on energy, and we sell them our solar power at a premium, and if we need more energy for ourselves, we can fire up a nat gas peaker or two for much cheaper than what we are getting for selling solar to California. This is a consequence of pushing "any and all solar is good, the more the better, just get it on the grid." Instead of having thoughtful policies and infrastructure in place.
Imagine being so screwed up that you pay someone to take energy that you're forced to produce but can't use, then only hours later, you're paying through the nose to get some back. The good about this is that living in California and voting how they vote, are both choices. I assume that people that live there, value high power bills, because they continue to choose to have them. So have them, they shall. Give the people what they want.
 

BigHornRam

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Ideally, batteries would store the mid-afternoon's overproduced solar and then dispatch it onto the grid at night.

That's not what's happening now though.


Right now, Arizona opens the fuses of our own solar assets in the morning and early afternoon, because California's mandates force them to produce it. With no where to go, we buy it at a negative rate (they pay us to take it). When peak time rolls around, they are short on energy, and we sell them our solar power at a premium, and if we need more energy for ourselves, we can fire up a nat gas peaker or two for much cheaper than what we are getting for selling solar to California. This is a consequence of pushing "any and all solar is good, the more the better, just get it on the grid." Instead of having thoughtful policies and infrastructure in place.
Imagine being so screwed up that you pay someone to take energy that you're forced to produce but can't use, then only hours later, you're paying through the nose to get some back. The good about this is that living in California and voting how they vote, are both choices. I assume that people that live there, value high power bills, because they continue to choose to have them. So have them, they shall. Give the people what they want.
Some push back in California, but not at critical mass yet. It's easier to demonize PG&E and the other providers as the problem.
 

Hydrophilic

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There’s no easy answers, but there’s also no excuse for not continuing to try to figure it out. The latter seems to have completely disappeared in the current political climate. It’s all about pointing out why the other side isn’t right as a matter of principle vs collaborating on real solutions. We can, and must, do better as a society.

I share you frustrations. Identifying problems and trying to find solutions in our current political climate results in a laundry list of 'whataboutisms' or other problems we need to address first, as if we are incapable of working on multiple problems at the same time :unsure:
 

SAJ-99

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Some other thoughts to add to this well thought out post.

Wind and solar are not reliable. Wind doesn't always blow, and the sun doesn't always shine. That's why large scale storage has to be part of the system going forward, but it has to be economical and environmentally safe as well. That's a big challenge.

Also California has started using a tiered use system to encourage consumers to use more of their electricity during off peak hours and less during peak hours. Right now peak hours are 5 to 9 pm on weekdays only. Night time would be the ideal time to recharge your electric vehicles . What happens when 5 to 10 million new EV users start charging their equipment at night? When the sun isn't shining and these solar farms aren't producing? Will that time become peak hours too? Something to think about.
Google "Texas grid battery storage". Most of these problems are solved. The only issue is cost and how to pay. Hard to tax localized production, but I have faith they will find a way.
 

BigHornRam

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As for Californians voting with their feet, based on increased traffic and California plates around here, they are.

Maybe this has something to do with it. We used 387 kilowatts in April. Energy provider is Northwestern Energy, same provider Ben took a swipe at earlier in this thread.

20210505_100146.jpg
 

Wildabeast

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Running the AC makes a huge difference. I hardly ever run mine at my place in Park City, but did run it last August when my son was staying with me. Tripled my monthly bill.

1620232017204.jpeg
 
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