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I'm hoping for a FC too, but near term, like 5-10 years I see ICE hybrid, maybe some FC introduction outside of Fleets and California happening now sometime after 7-10 years at the earliest in limited markets. At around 150hp and a 30kwh pack you should be able to traverse the United States at highway speeds towing (I would think). Sure, the little engine might run in the 3-5K rpm range stressing itself at times, but I don't have any longevity concerns for typical use. That 30Kwh pack should be able to move a pickup 50 miles, maybe 15 towing near max limit... but you should be able to recoup electrons while just cruising with the onboard. You'd have the advantage of Electric 4WD or AWD, and regen, maybe even a regen with pulling trailers in mind (like adaptively lighter on the trailer brakes to regen more on the vehicle). This same idea can be applied to with FC, but hybrids could come tomorrow, and average people would buy them, not so with FC at the moment. Both however could be a no-compromise solution for the average 1/2 ton. It probably could even tow better, take off faster, ride more stable, etc than what we have today. The 3/4 Ton range or higher might need more powerplant and battery, but even this level of power would be enough to make a dent in MPG.
There is truth all around in all these comments, raising the gas tax would have a profound effect. It probably would do the most to end our use of carbon fuels, but the trade off would be a large portion of the mid to lower classes not being able to afford to drive. I think the best incentives have been the cash for clunkers... I mean its goal was to take older cars off the road, and put disadvantaged people in new cars. The economy gets stirred up, the less fortunate get a decent shot at a newer cleaner car, and it's not disproportionately going to people making upper middle class wages buying luxury cars. As for the diesel thing, i concur there needs to be a national program in place to verify safety and emissions capability of cars on the road. I'm not in a CARB state but we do both of those. Many studies point out a few bad actors causing most of our toxic pollution. Like one car rolling down the road with a draft tube pollutes as much as a few hundred others. Same with small motors. We pick on cars, but two strokes and other little motors exist where batteries and propane can really do so much better. There are so many low hanging fruit. Get unsafe/older/more polluting cars off the road via incentives. Fix small displacement engines. Hold people accountable for the laws that we have now via testing. Sure we could strangle the new car market, tax the hell out of fuel, and make it difficult for a vast portion of the populous. I mean autonomous is right around the corner, if they wanted to, they (the government) could over the air send emissions data. I mean honestly they could have done it since the early 2000s. Things will get better. It just takes time. Todays new cars were being planned over 5 years ago, and they'll stay on the road for 12+ years(probably). So that is a 17yr lag of technology. We can shorten that, with buybacks. Electrics might hit parody soon for small cars, and that's great. Bigger vehicles will likely go hybrid for decades. I'm hopping for a 1L turbo with 30kwh battery from Ford in the form of F150/Expedition. That would give all the soccer moms EV power for thier arduous day, and give great towing power via electric drive, and great regen capability. Big vehicles are necessary, but we could even get those to 30+MPG via hybridization. I don't think EV only trucks will sell, even with $8/gas. They'll just pass the buck down the line.
I think our political future next election might net exactly what you are calling for and then some. I believe our next president will lean left hard. I don't think they'd stop at $100/ton. But these newly implemented engine cycles might be available by then, we definitely can see fleets adopting soonest, as most conversions are marketed to them. Look at all the aftermarket upfitting for vans and 1500 trucks. One thing that could shake things up, that no one would aptly consider a great way to do things, is to declare patents concerning newer technologies open, and set a cap on royalties. Another thing would be to change usery laws, to allow people to save money to invest in newer/better technology. There are already grants/deductions for those upgrading their homes, but there are still too many barriers to purchase price. I mean a can of foam it is cheap. But if you have R13 insulation in the walls, you likely will still leak heat. I also don't understand why something like fiberglass or other batting is so costly to install. It's also nearly impossible to cheaply upgrade your exterior walls rvalue. R25+ should be the standard for walls, there is no reason we cannot use advanced building practices to get there. There are enough disruptive technologies to make stick built homes obsolete, it's only now catching on. The great thing is SIPs and ICFs cut down on labor, enough to make the costs irrelevant or justified with the better sealing and rvalue. It pays back in a few years. But the problem is subdivisions go up at ten houses at a time, then they get the buyers to come in. There is need for stricter standards for rvalue. As buyers are not making the decision most of the time. Home cogeneration might be an interesting value in colder climates, but again, when i called around even small systems were near $40,000. I just don't think the $100/ton tax is enough other than to just tick people off. Sure at the grid level it might make a change, but it might also still just trickle down to the consumer with no changes as a result other than a higher rate at the meter. I rather see planned obsolescence, plan a phase out of coal. Plan a phase out of poorly insulated homes. Plan a phase out of non hybrids, then plan a phase out of ICEs. Don't schedule everything now for vehicles, but look to it over time. When you hit the no-non-hybrid point, then plan the demise of the ICE. CAFE does a Fair bit to that extent, but i do think we give too much credit to EVs. I think we'll be seeing some big progress in the next two vehicles generations from all the car companies. I am a conservative in most facets of my life, spending, politics, usage of resources. I do think there needs to be some sort of government intervention to protect the public in the two largest purchases people make, to ensure they are getting a home that is well built and properly insulated, and for a car that doesn't needlessly pollute. I think 2020 is going to be the year of the hybrids(at least by 2025). I believe most makers will offer a serious hybrid in most of thier larger models. We are also told of pure EV suvs coming out by someone who isn't Tesla. So you are aware, there are coasting strategies that allow larger engines to open thier throttle, but yes, ideally larger engines are best used in thier efficiency ranges. But there are some anomolous cases like the F150 where the 5.0 gets better highway in practice than the 3.5EB because of turbos being sized too small. If hybrids can drop 70% of our need for liquid fuel, then we can focus on carbon neutral fuel for the remaining 30%. I do think it's a worthy step to visit plug in hybrids in this capacity. Hybrids can boost the need for infrastructure projects like public charging, and lead to awareness. Hybrids can be that bridge that gets us from ICEs to FCs or BEVs. I think also BEV credits should be restricted to those households making less than $100,000 a year and be applied upfront to the purchase. Small changes in these policies can be a difference between someone buying an ev and someone not due to price. It's sad that many of these great technologies are out of reach financially for many. I think that to tax people for not having access to these technologies would place an unjust hardship on them. That's why i am so adamant against taxing carbon. Where instead i rather see plans to combat waste, or enable people to have access to the technologies. We don't need coal plants. We don't need shoddy homes. We don't need tax rebates that do nothing for the majority people that could stand to improve thier homes that couldn't do so without help, same for cars. We just need to change things to make these technologies accessible to the majority, not just the privileged. If we make it accessible, then we will see adoption more rapidly.
I guess my initial thoughts on a tax is a bit of a shock, i thought cars would be unaffordable, but rather its homes. At $9/gal a car getting 26mpg might only spend $500/mo on gas. But the energy bill at home might be $1000/mo. More reason to take the focus off of cars, more onto the grid and homes.
I am having a hard time getting verification on carbon tax on gasoline. I am seeing anywhere from $.28-$.88/gal per $100/ton tax. Just as a disclaimer. I just don't see where this would benefit anyone but those who can afford it, and can additionally afford things like solar panels and EVs. I bet this would likely kill off net metering. Power company probably won't want to subsidize someone else's effort.
Probably should correct myself again. For someone driving more than one $70,000 vehicle like an escalade or a luxury non work truck like a F250. I think the tax should be closer to $2000/ton. it gets pretty ugly, i mean gasoline is still barely manageable somewhere in the range of $9, but home energy usage would break current Americans. Other prices would definitely rise in response, cost of living would likely increase beyond many peoples means.
So i guess the only thing to do is pass the tax and see what happens. $100/ton co2 would raise my electricity rate by >30% If all things were equal. Probably closer to 50% since we have all that coal. Would take the electric bill from $1200/yr to $1800/yr It would raise my cost per gallon of gasoline about $.30/gal Which in the scheme of thing wouldn't be too troubling. 10% increase. No one will flinch at that. Roughly $1500 before to 1800 after. It would raise shipping and cost of goods by some significant amount depending on various factors. It will be interesting. I think if you want what you want from the tax, you need to think about $500/ton otherwise its just a waste of red tape., and a hassle for everyone. I mean that is if you want people to stop driving thier Escalades and F250s
I know there are frictional losses, and other losses due to more spinning mass with bigger engines... But typically most of the losses come from the vehicles wind resistance and relative footprint. Idling losses making up most of the deficit between higher displacement engines and lower in the same frame. I mean, Chevy has v8 corvettes returning mpg of a typical sedan. I think thier implementation sucks, but they are getting the numbers. My youngest brother drives a ~92 camery. I can say the biggest difference to fuel economy is the weight, not the engine size. The profile of the car helps too. Weight= need for larger engine for non lethargic acceleration. That's also why hybrids are great, small power plant, and more agility. Carpooling takes an incredible load off those g/km/person numbers. Gasoline cars can surpass evs just by putting more people in the cars. The thermostat question was to point out steps we can do to actively use less energy. Homes are going to be the largest and longest lasting blight on our energy consumption for centuries. Just like everyone cannot go out and buy a car next year, new home purchases are even more elusive. Homes last what 50-100 years? Cars we will run through quickly enough that I'm not worried about in the scheme of things. Incremental increases and all. If we really are trying to curb CO2 emissions we need to do things now like push for even stricter standards for insulation. ICFs and SIPs are great newer methods that can provide 4x the r value of tradition construction. It's a ~5+% increase in cost for savings that can last the life of the home. It even worse for renters, my apartment cost about $400/mo just to heat a 1200sq Ft apartment. A building that was built in 2009. Of course it could just be management double dipping. They lied and collected damages from me too when i left. I don't think the individuals who buy $100,000 escalades and F250s are going to be affected by any tax that would pass in the next ten years.
EP, let me ask you this, At what cost $/kwh would you go out of your way to carpool with a stranger who lived 3 miles out of your way to the same job which is 15miles from your home? Assuming you had no other alternative like a bus or shuttle to catch. I mean, what would it take to put the squeeze on you to change your behavior? Even more still, how much more would it be if you had to pick up 3 strangers before you arrived at work? I mean these are the gains we could have by such a tax, carpooling being the lowest hanging fruit. Others would be telecommuting, vegetable gardens, and various dietary changes. At what price would you give in? Ask yourself. What if it meant you had to arrive an hour before your shift started and stayed an hour later, in addition to a half an hour gained on your commute. What cost per kw/h or therm you ever consider leaving your home at <60f through the winter?
Average life of a car now is over 12years old, and it's climbing. Best way to change the rolling fleet out is with a other cash for clunkers. I feel that that program benefited the less abled financially than current tax credits do. Both achieve most the same goal, to push fuel economy. My point is if energy cost climb 20% or more artificially, it will have more than a 20% cost increase on peoples necessary spending. Which in turn could pinch even the middle class. Why not start with electric generation? You know where the article said most of the gains would be had. Leave the populous out of it. I really wish politicians would find the middle ground. Offered federal financing and phaseout plans to transition coal plants to natural gas, nuclear or geothermal. You can't just ban something without offering an alternative. Some companies cannot adequately bankroll a new plant. energy is uniquely non elastic for many. Most of the ways to improve the average households net energy usage comes in the form of the two largest purchases. The home and the car. Our homes are notoriously poorly insulated. Our cars, change over time, and have been getting better, the difference between cars in Europe and America as far as offerings are concerned are pretty minor on the scheme of things. Sure up until the thing with Volkswagen, diesel was the main fair, now we are seeing a sharp decline in purchases as scandals deterred buyers, beyond that a large number of the population deciding never to get behind the wheel. The only way we can really benefit our culture is to focus on the future, not punishing others for what we are currently stuck using. Work towards more efficient power generation, better insulated homes, more fuel efficient cars. We won't have an economy if we hold energy hostage. I don't think there is as much willfully wasted energy as many suspect. Energy is our lifeblood, and it cost consumers money as it is, why put the squeeze on consumers when we can more aptly put pressure upstream to generators and manufacturers? Sure, some cost trickles down, but not a blanketing tax that assuredly would apply more pressure for the less abled financially. I mean if in the end it doesn't matter. I guess the simplest solution would be euthanasia. Give ourselves the dystopian society we've always wanted. Start with those who don't own an ev. -sarcasm, but I've encountered many with that mindset, it's more prevalent than you'd think. I think the carbon tax is short sighted. Offer alternatives not punishment. Is the goal to tax enough to change consumption? If so the tax will have to be heavy enough to actually change behavior. When it gets to that breaking point, we could ruin the economy. Look to cigarettes, the cost to make is a few pennies. The added benefit to ones life doesn't exist. We tax the heck out of them, yet people choose to smoke. I'd say our energy usage is even more inflexible than tobacco. We just need to have in place goals and standards to actually progress incrementally, rather than disenfranchising the actual majority of the population.
I do think that our CAFE laws are working. Probably much better than a vice tax would in the states. A steady incremental approach is good enough for me. It only affects the initial purchaser in any meaningful way. As with the used car market there is always waiting till a car depreciates more over time if price is a barrier. A use tax couldn't curb miles driven beyond its inflexible state. I mean people either drive thier car to work and the store or they don't anymore. Leisure activities would be the first to go, you know like trips to see grandma or something. From experience I'd say people would cut back on other spending before they would cut back on driving. I will agree with you on a the slower speeds means more mpg. I laugh hard and shake my head at people screaming about EPA numbers and not hitting them, then to learn that they drive 80+ on the freeway. But if it's a true carbon tax, ev owners would also suffer. I'm interested in fords next hybrid truck. It should be interesting if it has 20+mile range, not just some micro battery. It will be interesting to see units tow, how maintenance drops, and fuel economy climbs.
Autonomous cars will curb speeding, better than raising prices. I mean what's better than having big brother driving you around? I don't recall any observable difference when gasoline was 2.5x more expensive than it is now as regards to my miles driven/ speed. Or let alone everyone else's speed. Don't forget that things don't appear in the store by magic, a truck gets them there. Goods are also manufactured using some form of energy. Typically the poor is less inclined to own property, or purchase vehicles that might have a price premium associated with it, such as an EV or hybrid. So even if they were buying plug ins, they might not be able to charge them at "home". My car is cleaner than a model S on the highway(in my area, lots of coal). So i think I'm doing a fair bit myself. Also keep in mind that Americans fear technology, small turbo'd engines are pretty much an anomaly in the states. People honestly think the turbos blow up at around 80-150k miles. Also Europe has long favored diesel because of thier taxation. Cars are taxes basically on displacement and alleged g/km. They also have a much different layout than the USA as far as roadways/cities are concerned. I honestly think most makers have axed V8 and V6s from most of thier lineup. Most makers are working again on hybrids from the largest truck down. It seems like ~ 2020 we'll see some interesting powertrains. Other thing to note is in Europe, the number of new drivers as part of the population is dropping. They have a transit system in place to bear that population of non drivers, the USA doesn't. You should look up John Oliver's subprime car loan video. It gives an example of the disparity of owning a car in the USA vs not owning one.
"Across all models, they found that the core carbon price scenarios lead to significant reductions in CO2 emissions, with the vast majority of the reductions occurring in the electricity sector and disproportionately through reductions in coal." From above. How about throwing some federal money around to divert power from coal to natural gas, Instead of a social experiment?
Interesting link EP. Makes me not want to flee to Canada in the next major political election. I know it's Canadian dollars, but $.28/kwh is crazy. Also why are Canadians even bothering with solar? I figured they wouldn't work well at those latitudes. The one article talks of cost per day heating during the cold snap, and rise in use of shelters for families. Then goes on to say solar is paid almost $.80/kwh. That is unconscionable if true! By me most of the wind is political, the nephew of a senator got approval and grants to line some of the major highways with turbines. Canada seems like a solar producers dream land.
To make gasoline or other fuels usage go down by raising the cost only burdens the lower classes. And if you create a system of taxes, and then credits for the middle classes and lower, you are just creating a mess of government. Realistically you would need to increase cost/gal here by over 300-1000% to see any behavior changes. So that's like a 1000%+ change in taxes with out a viable alternative ready to replace everyone's gasoline car. It would only lead to anarchy in the USA if implemented at any level that would change behavior. Any carbon taxes would put an unjust burden on those less fortunate. It would raise the cost of transportation, the cost of food, the cost of electricity, and heating. The more well to do likely won't be affected.
This appears to be particularly interesting because if it can make isobutanol without other byproducts, perhaps this culture can be left to grow unaided by man, simply skimming the resource off the top of the holding pond. I mean if the bacteria can thrive without much intervention, and the fuel can float to the surface without poisoning the culture, we could have a very effective way to make fuel as we transition to EVs. If it works we could be scaling this up rapidly. Huge ponds where the culture doesn't die when you harvest the fuel. If kept fed and healthy these microbes could flourish at an alarming rate. I mean breweries would have enough waste to prove useful, let alone any grain processor. It would be interesting to see a partnership, and have greener beer trucks.
If this drop in fuel can be made at scale, simply by having a large culture feed saw dust or other agricultural waste products this would be great.
Hmm i don't know if the density would be good for mobile use, but... The density is probably good for power generation for consumer consumption like a home or rv or some sort of mobile command center. I don't think these will power vehicles forward. Though the ability to take in other fuels is a great Plus for a very small range extender if they could scale the density up by 10-100x then we could see some actual implementation. I'm thinking Cummins /government is looking for quiet/stealth power generation that is compatible with various existing gaseous fuels.
It is much easier/cheaper to make a fast/exotic/hyper electric car than an ICE that does the same thing. I think this like Tesla will have success in this type of market. I don't know what will happen to Tesla ultimately...but i would wager it would be a great niche car company if it stuck to model S type vehicles. I do think the model 3 could be the ruin of Tesla if it doesn't live up to the hype or ship as fast as they need too. The company is massively, in my opinion, overvalued. Clearly others place value in it. It being the largest US make. Though scarcity breeds value and appreciation... And people don't want to be disappointed in themselves for thier efforts to acquire a Tesla. I think other makes will fill the void the model3 is trying to fill. The Chevy bolt, is offering some serious competition. Ford and others are promising electrified and electric suvs/trucks. Mild hybrids are also popping up. In the larger suv/truck segment, hybrids will rule. Utility for working vehicles is key. Would you buy a typical1500 truck with a 5 gallon gas tank? I think not today. What i guess I'm summing up is the mainstream oems will make a hard push for electrics before 2025. Tesla and other newcomers will have to result to value added things like speed and luxury to remain viable. Even then, as electrics become mainstream, others will likely push into the niche side of the market. I mean who wouldn't want an electric Viper, GT, Camero, Mustang, Corvette? Taking not only the mainstream, but the niche market back as well. Even the hyper cars are edging back in, albeit with a money is no concern kind of way, but the amount of new tech that is showing up on these hybrids is impressive. We should see some major shakeups in the large truck industry. Hybrids and full electrics do offer a great cost advantage to diesel from a maintenance standpoint. Uptime and cost to fuel could be hit or miss based on rates and availability, both of which are the life blood. My bet is on Nikola's truck, i do think they have a pretty strong plan for over the road. Autonomous vehicles will shake things up. We could see lots of crazy unimaginable vehicles sold to fleets because of what the technology will enable. Anyone that drives to make a living should be scared. The amount of money and time a company can save without over the road drivers, or drivers in general make autonomous vehicles one of the most potentially destructive forces in the industry to date. It may/should even lead to declining ownership, and more mobility/access.
I'm just surprised they managed to produce so many at launch. That's a very quick EV ramp up.
GPF, would likely come after ICE leaves the mainstream of vehicles. Hybrids would also complicate the use of GPF. Regen cycles need lots of heat and a lean burn, so no typical 9th injector. GPF would cause a lot of problems for the public, DPF has its share of problems, and those wouldn't translate well to the public at large owning and maintaining them for the average of 12years, versus an often well maintained fleet with professional drivers. People cannot even be bothered to check thier tire pressure, hence why we have TPMS required now. Gasoline cars can soot yes, but they are a much more infrequent culprit. Most of the soot with gasoline can be removed by careful tuning of acceleration/throttle events. Most of the peppiness will be gone, but cars can effectively be tuned to avoid a majority of the issue. Besides, people have been tuning/chipping diesels while removing DPF at an alarming rate. Failures of these systems are expensive, it could be a $3000 cost premium for just the components. Might as well make a diesel car/truck at that point for better fuel economy.
This probably goes most against my core values, but building out a large, government backed power plant with 20 year bonds wouldn't seem irrational. Installed cost is around $2500 per kw/hr on the name plate. A stupid large geothermal plant with a name plate of 100,000Mw at $250,000,000,000 would take potentially 8-16years to pay back based on electrical rates. Assuming they can get $0.05/KwH If its $0.04/kwh then its verging on 11-31 years. Lower at $0.03/kwh would put it at 16years - never paying back. This is based on the governments data. cost of 2,500/kw, maintenance cost of $0.01-0.03/kwh and 90% capacity factor. This is green power, it also has reasonable payback periods. This plant could probably operate for >50 years. So payback, and expansion would be possible. You will likely never get approval for 600 nukes anywhere in the US, if you're lucky you might be able to build out 50. Its not popular. Towns and people would likely not want them in the backyard. I'll let you in on a secret. If you want Republicans to build out Nukes or geothermal. Make it an issue of energy independence/ national security. The Left will likely fight you on Nukes, its not a popular or understood power type, that and recent human memory of Japan, Russia, the USA, North Korea and every significant nuclear disaster or test that has ever made the news. We need to see our development of said power plants as a investment in our country. Investments that could easily pay back. I believe this would be a better use of money than wind our solar subsidies. Cost of coal is high, cost of natural gas is high, and nuclear is up there. This could lower our carbon output, and possibly make our power cheaper.
Batteries have to have some expected use of 200,000 miles, same with fuel cells or any other emissions reducing device particularly in CARB states. While cycles might not matter if the pack is large enough, it would matter in smaller applications. Needless to say, as long as there is reasonable utility at those high miles it would fall under the scope of the warranty. Another issue I see, is that car makers are not in a habit of supporting older models, typically they stop support just after 8 years of the stop of production or sooner in lower volume models. Battery packs, now a days are very unique. I mean, they are modular, but they are built to a specific model of car. Who is to say they are to support the electric car in the future with a different battery than what was given in the first place? I have helped to test and replace bad cells in a hybrid battery, but those were about 16 stacks of cells that looked like D batteries shrink wrapped together. I can't imagine the labor involved in A: designing and selling a new "safe / warrantable" pack from the OEM, or B: the aftermarket to repair such large packs. Hopefully battery management has much improved since then, it took a $500 charger, and about 5-10 charges on each cell in the underperforming pack, and the lot of batteries purchased to replaces those cells. Basically you charge and measure the discharge over several cycles to determine which cells are healthy and match the rest of the pack. Odds are these current EVs and the next generation are dead in the water when it comes to battery improvements over time. Tesla, is probably the only exception to this, they use a fairly large and similar sled layout across its models. Other makes take the battery and shoehorn it in somewhere. As long as its considered an emissions device, to tamper or alter its function, even by making it better, could prove illegal in a court of law. So, the quick response from the aftermarket would be: "Off-road use only"
Nicely summed up, I concur Rodger. We as a nation need to install 1TW of new clean power to replace our dependence on non renewables, and to lower our emissions. Wind, and solar would be a blight at that level. We will likely need to install 2TWs over the next 50years. The first to replace the near 1TW of existing non renewable combustion plants, the second to meet the demand of a growing connected world, and an electric vehicle fleet. Things are limited, land, wind, sunshine, fuel, money. If we do exploit the caldera, and we should, this could in the future, lower power rates for the whole nation, ultimately wiping out petroleum based power plants which pay tremendous costs for fuel and maintenance. It's the cheapest option, and it could also be the greenest, and safest ways of going about reducing our dependence on limited and volatile resources. Wind and solar generation mean we have to have great dispatchable power. Batteries likely will only give us mins in time of peak needs, but diesel and natural gas, or that idled coal plant will come on line and take over. Hydrogen will never get a footing as these backups will remain in play indefinitely. If we do something destruptive, that will pay dividends in the long run, we can bank on that lower cost, and level it out over time. Take out bonds, raise capital, and use falling rates to pay for the project and the interest. If we bring something like this online, and several large Nukes, like 10, to prop up our grids, and provide a safe reliable means of electricy, with abundance. We can get away from hydro carbons, and we can possibly provide electricity at such a low rate that it enables economic growth in areas of commerce/technologies, industry, and affordability for the populous. Energy and it's cost play a huge role on the economy. If energy cost go up, the cost of living goes up more than just a heating bill, or that fill up at the gas station, it affects the food on the table and nearly anything you can imagine. Imagine if we sold cheap electricity, 100% of the time, and contracted out our surplus to industry with conditions to curtail use as demand rose. We could safely over provision our grid to spur on our economy in ways that would otherwise be impractical. Like the poet mentioned, peak demand versus the base load is huge. If we were to bring the baseload much higher like I am wanting, we'd need to have people take it up. If we plan our demands, and bring online huge demands to balance out the rise and fall, to allow smaller dispatchables to take over, we could easily live in a carbon free society, even of it meant the electrolysis of water powering transportation. Industry could flourish as a result. I'm not saying we should be reckless, that gigawatt geothermal plant should be able to adjust load to meet demand too, just that we should also consider changing our paradigm. We have all this new technology. We are learning from our current uses, how we are using this electricity. If such a project were undertaken, we could use AI to plan and map our loading of the power plants, in conjunction with consumers like cars, industry, who ever need a lot of power. We can accurately predict, it's not some shot in the dark. Sure there are anomalies, but given enough data, even the outliers are predictable. The grid can self level with batteries, pumped hydro, and hydrogen production. It can also extend its grasp to its consumers, cars can charge and faster rates as surpluses come, industry, compute sectors, everyone can add information and benefit.
The reason for the large plants are scales of economy. For construction, staffing, fueling, etc. Nuclear reactors, coal boilers, just as other things can be made very modular. If you plan on future expansions from the beginning you can scale out over time at a much lower cost. I'm not saying these things should launch with crazy high name plates, but over a span of 50 years they should be growing to offset our carbon use. Hypothetically, let's say that 28% of transportation goes full electric, and while we see an overall 14% reduction in CO2, we will see a jump in electricity usage. What is going to come online to replace it? Most of our plants in my area were built in the 70s and 80s, with 70s and 80s technology. Even our nuke plant is showing its age. I'm surrounded by coal. Something needs to happen. Geothermal is highly geographically limited, and out best source is probably Yellowstone. Geothermal is cheap to run, and fairly cheap to build out. Also, for the hydrogen, it likely doesn't need to be stored at 700bar for stationary applications, so we can plant large tanks for a weeks supply. We could use silos like we have for natural gas, storing it onsite, producing it from electrolysis, or from natural gas onsite. I know nuclear isn't dispatchable, per se but Geothermal has the potential to be somewhat dispatchable. For instance if you had 100,000Mw on the name plate, you run at the typical 90% of rated capacity, and you use that power to do power intensive things like H2 from electrolysis, or mining aluminum, or something that can utilize power.Until one such artic cold snap comes along, then we divert that rainy day power to other regions. My idea is wrought with inefficiency, especially having H2 from electrolysis, but it's one that could work to provide a realistic, cheap, and mostly carbon free future. H2 has to be made some how. We need power. We have square miles of a magma chamber right below our land, that is actually due to go off in a spectacular way. Geothermal is a cheap reliable way to produce power, even is carbon neutral. Our country like everyone else's runs on energy. If we have cheap, reliable energy people start to exploit that resource. This designed surplus energy could be tied to anything energy intensive. The production of H2, pumped hydro, if we have it, we can probably find a use for it, if we plan for it. The big things in our future are computers. They are sensitive to power outages, but super computers can likely be throttled down to a sleep state/low power state if needed. Facilities that use megawatts of power might be able to take advantage of this. It not ideal for sensitive loads, but that cheaper surplus power could be matched with private backup generation, in addition to public grid backups. I'll pull up an article i found on tidal energy, there was a proposed project to capture the energy in the tides, and they figure they could capture so much they would need to find customers to use it. This is sort of how I'm envisioning the use. There will be surplus, but that can be swiftly met with some sort of planned demand.