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Bob Wallace
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Build high speed rail. Electrified high speed rail. Move moderate travel to HSR, reserve airline travel for long distance travel.
What we need is for battery and car companies to stop hiding information from the public. Tell us what batteries cost. Their competitors almost certainly know.
Nick - driving 75 - 100 miles 50 to 100 times a year makes you an outlier. Only 10% of all US driving days are greater than 75 miles. People who drive a lot, many days a week are likely responsible for a lot of that total. A limited range EV won't work for them, and seemingly for you. But look back to Raymond's $120 per month savings. For someone who takes a few long trips a year they are way ahead to rent a car for the long trips.
DaveD - "Apart from that, how on earth electric car advocates have talked themselves into a position where they are saying that continuing to burn petrol in a PHEV is not so bad anyway boggles the mind." I haven't seen anyone argue that gasoline PHEVs would be superior to fuel cell PHEVs in any sense other than cost. The gasoline infrastructure is in place. No infrastructure costs required. And most of us consider PHEVs largely a temporary solution to present high battery costs. Let's be realistic about H2 FCEVs. When they come to the road they will mostly be run off reformulated natural gas. The CO2 savings between a gasoline PHEV and a H2 PHEV will be small. Plus there's the methane leakage problem. -- Short term, the best bang for the buck is a limited mileage EV like the Nissan Leaf. It's cheaper than a PHEV and cheaper to drive in the 40 - 80 mile range. If you can't use an 80 mile EV then a PHEV is the next best choice. On average you should be able to cut your fuel use by 85%. -- H2 can be created from renewable energy. It just takes more than twice as much renewable energy per mile. And that means more CO2 because it would take longer to install twice as much renewable and during that interval you would be running on natural gas.
There's a very interesting graph on this page (sorry we can't post graphs here). It shows that with falling battery prices both hybrids and PHEVs are forced off the market. At roughly $275/kWh both hybrids and PHEVs drop out. And gas has to be < $3.50/gallon for ICEVs to stay in the game with batteries at ~$275. -- And I've got to agree with DaveD. We've already got the gasoline infrastructure in place. If we wanted to have a rapid impact on our fuel usage we coule move about half of all drivers into EVs and the other half could use gasoline PHEVs with their fuel use cut by more than 75%. That would take our overall fuel use to less than 15% of what it now is. And, based on the graph I linked, we're looking at only a short period in which PHEVs will be valid. Cheaper batteries with "superchargers" will like push them to extinction before we could get a H2 system up and running.
Here's an interesting read on where the H2 refueling industry is right now. A station that makes H2 from natural gas. Can refill 30 FCEVs in a ten hour day. (Producing the H2 is what slows things down.) Currently cost $4 million but they are hoping to get it down to $2 million.
"... we estimate that to fill our fuel cell sedan to go 300 miles initially will cost about $50 and then go down to about $30 ...." 10 cents per mile. An EV using 0.3 kWh/mile and charging with 12c/kWh electricity would be less than 4 cents per mile. Since EVs will likely be dispatchable load they will likely get a better than average rate from utilities. And with the cost of new wind generation dropping below 4 cents per kWh that rate might be very sweet indeed. It might cost 4x as much per mile to drive a H2 FCEV.
This is a reduction in the non-cell part of the battery pack. Not a decrease in cell weight.
This is a 'business as usual prediction. It ignores the likely move to electricity powered personal transportation. "Electricity and hydrogen will together account for less than 0.5% of total energy consumption by 2035." We seem to be on route to sub $30k, 200 mile range EVs prior to 2020. Production volume alone should force those prices into the mid $20k range which would mean a massive market shift away from ICEVs well before 2030. In the US about 50% of all driving is done with cars five years old or newer. US cars, alone, should create far more than a 0.5% energy shift.
"Queue Assist enables safe and comfortable driving by following the vehicle in front in slow-moving queues. Acceleration, braking and steering are controlled automatically." This one is likely to be very popular. With anyone who spends a lot of time in stop and go traffic.
Solar is currently between 6.5 and 8.5 cents per kWh (SW vs. NE). Wind is somewhere in the <4 to 5.5 cent range. The cost of both is expected to drop. Ten years from now it's very likely that both wind and solar will be producing electricity for well under 5 c/kWh. The best estimate we have for new nuclear is from the recent LCOE numbers produced by Citigroup for the Vogtle reactors. They report that the price of power from those reactors will be 11 cents. If there are no further cost/schedule overruns. They also report that it is very unlikely more reactors can be built and deliver 11 cent electricity. Vogtle has taken advantage of unusually low interest rates. Rates which will almost certainly not be available to future builds. We should expect any further nuclear electricity to cost 12+ c/kWh Storage for nuclear would actually be more expensive than storage for wind and solar using identical technology. Since onshore wind produces more at night and solar produces during midday storage systems would cycle twice a day. Nuclear would produce excess power only during off-peak hours resulting in a single storage cycle. The more frequently storage is cycled the larger the revenue stream.
And how about a little update on the cost of onshore wind in the US? In 2011 and 2012 wind PPAs averaged 4 cents per kWh. Adding back in the PTC that's about 5.5 cents. We have preliminary (non-confirmed) data that the average PPA for wind in 2013 was 2.1 cents. If confirmed that would mean that the full price of wind (without subsidy) has dropped to to under 4 cents.
E-P, try reading what I wrote. Solar PPAs (Power Purchase Agreements) are being signed in the US SW for $0.05/kWh and a bit less. Add back in the federal subsidy and the price is around 6.5 cents. Adjust the price for the lower sunshine of the NE and the price would be around 8.5 cents. I started with the selling price of solar, 5 cents. I then added back in the federal subsidy, ~1.5 cents to get 6.5 cents. The non-subsidized cost of electricity from solar in the US SW is about 6.5 cents, far less than the 12 cent number used earlier. You would be correct if I had claimed that the cost of solar was 5 cents and did not account for the subsidy.
" If solar is $0.12/kwh" Solar PPAs (Power Purchase Agreements) are being signed in the US SW for $0.05/kWh and a bit less. Add back in the federal subsidy and the price is around 6.5 cents. Adjust the price for the lower sunshine of the NE and the price would be around 8.5 cents. We're well under 12 cents in the US. We're getting close to the point at which is will make sense to store daytime solar for late afternoon and early evening high demand hours. Stored solar isn't likely to ever be competitive with late night onshore wind (which is apparently now signing 2.5 cents/kWh PPAs).
Seems like most of the industrial moves were before 2007.
"That is not the case in other climates and especially not at higher latitudes." Europe has been building 'zero energy' houses for a while. Houses that produce as much energy as they use. Here's an example from Denmark. Here's one in Sweden...
The California duck graph is somewhat of a cherry-picked worse case day. There will be a need for morning and late afternoon supply to fill in around solar. Thermal solar with storage is one answer. Importing wind from Wyoming is another. Work is underway to build a HVDC line from Wyoming to the Pacific Intertie and Intermountain Intertie. That would create a loop that would tie together the Pacific Northwest, SoCal, Utah, Nevada and Wyoming and allow sharing of PNW hydro, SoCal solar, Nevada geothermal, and Wyoming wind. SoCal (Arizona and New Mexico) can provide solar during the day. Wyoming wind starts really kicking in in the late afternoon. The PNW has hydo to smooth things out. Storage and backup can be shared.
Actually it appears that Germany's CO2 output did not increase in 2013. Some reporter jumped the gun and used partial year data to project CO2 emissions for the entire year. Now that data for the rest of the year is being released it looks like 2013 will be a bit lower than 2012.
You misunderstand the 35%/85% findings. Wind farms can produce "baseload" electricity 85% of the time. That is similar to large thermal plants. Not all the output from wind farms is reliable enough to be "baseload", but 35% of the output is. With both wind farms and large thermal farms we would need some way to fill in the "other 15%". You need more spinning reserve for thermal plants because they can go offline abruptly without notice. Wind and solar are highly predictable hours in advance which makes it easy to ramp up reserve as the wind dies or Sun sets. The reserve plants can sit idle for many hours at a time, saving fuel. Wind's capacity factor is not a measure of how many hours per year the wind blows. Nuclear capacity factor is a fair measurement of now many hours per year the reactor operates as most reactors operate either full on or stopped.
Archer and Jacobson found that if wind farms over a modest area are connected a sizable portion of their overall output (35%) is available 85% of the time. We accept generation (coal and nuclear) as "baseload" with 85% run times. We don't demand 100% always on. We fill in when thermal plants are down. Build some wind farms in good wind resource areas. Connect them to the grid. You've got baseload. You'd need to build about 3x your annual minimum, but some of that is going to get used when demand exceeds baseload/minimum and the rest can be stored.
Give them wireless charging dedicated parking spaces and card swipe rentals and Bob's your uncle.
When reactors are offline for repair as was the case with Crystal River and SONGS their generation is still counted in CF calculations. It's not until the decision has been made to permanently retire them that their capacity is removed from the total. Fort Calhoun was offline for over a year then came back on line. -- The US has some existing dams that are candidates for power production. A 2012 study of some of the 77,500 existing dams which are not currently power producers found potential to add up to 12 GW (12,000 megawatts or MW) of new renewable capacity — a potential equivalent to increasing the size of the existing conventional hydropower by 15%. Based on a number of government and private resource assessment the National Hydropower Association estimates run of river potential to be as high as 60 GW. We'll see more hydro coming on line.
From your link... Eleven month capacity 2011 88.5% Eleven month capacity 2012 86.7% From the EIA 12 month report - 2011 nuclear nameplate capacity was 107,001 MW. On a 24/365 hour basis that would have produced 937,328,760 MWh. Actual production was 790,204,000 MWh. 84.3%. 2012 nuclear nameplate was 107,938 MW. Potential productions would have been 945,537 MWh. Actual production was 769,331 MWh for 81.4% Why the EIA has differing sets of numbers I can't explain. Might it be that December is a month in which reactors are commonly shut down for servicing? I would think spring more likely. 85.7 - 84.3 = 1.4 pct difference. Not much. 88.5 - 81.4 = 7.1 pct difference. Significant. This site seems to be indicating that outages were climbing at the end of 2012. Always appreciate your gentlemanly like behavior, Mr. Poet.
No, the CF for nuclear in 2011 was 84.3% and in 2012 it was 81.4%. 2013 numbers have not yet been released. Those are from EIA data.
"However, what about seasonal energy supply and demand mismatch? You're gonna need H2 to fill in the gap." Will there be a seasonal supply/demand mismatch? Or will we do with renewables what we do currently with traditional generating technologies and over build? Our current grids are built (IIRC) to supply about 125% of maximum peak demand. We need more than peak in order to deal with plants that may not be functioning during periods of highest demand. If you look at the CF (capacity factor - actual annual output/potential annual output) for nuclear it's low 80%, coal is low 50%, and natural gas is about 25%. Our existing plants spend a lot of time not producing electricity. In fact, we have more NG capacity (55%) than coal and nuclear combined (45%). That means that our traditional plants spend well over 50% of the time idle. Then we have a large span between normal peak and off-peak demand. If we charge mostly during off-peak it's hard to see where there will be a supply shortage. Remember, electric vehicles can be opportunistic. They can sit idle for long periods and then grab the power they need during supply peaks. The renewable grid will need some storage, but probably less than most people assume. How we will store is yet to be decided. We might use H2 but battery technology is looking very promising. Compressed air storage is looking viable. And we have enormous potential for pump-hydro should we decide that's the best answer.