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  • #31
    Here's how bad solar does. I did these comparisons fighting Prop 127 here in Arizona.

    Ivanpah solar (the largest solar plant in the US): 400 MW nameplate. Takes up 4,000 acres. Capacity factor 20.5% Makes 940 GW/year Cost $2.5 billion (all money is in 2016 value)

    Palo Verde Nuclear (largest nuclear plant in the US): 4000 MW nameplate. Takes up 4,000 acres. Capacity factor 94%. Makes 32,200 GW/year Cost $11.5 billion.

    To match Palo Verde with Ivanpah solar plants you need to cover 136,000 acres of land (approx. 15 x 15 miles) at a cost of $85 billion. Palo Verde is 46 times as efficient as Ivanpah.

    Solana solar Gila Bend AZ. The largest solar plant in Arizona. 280 MW nameplate 1920 acres. Capacity factor 26.6%. Annual output 724 GW/year. Cost $2 billion.

    TransCanada natural gas plant Coolidge AZ. A typical natural gas plant. 575 MW nameplate. Capacity factor 96%. Annual output 3600 GW/year. Cost $500 million.

    Just to equal the cost of Solana, the TransCanada plant would have to spend $75 million a year for 20 years on natural gas. Worse, Solana has been repeatedly fined for air quality violations including a $1.5 million fine by the ADEQ (Arizona's EPA) for air quality violations. It was also knocked off line in 2016 by a microburst thunderstorm that destroyed approximately 50% of the plant. After 30 days off line it resumed operations at about 30% capacity. Repairs took nearly four months.

    Solar is no panacea for energy production. It is a boondoggle. If the environmentalists were really concerned with Gorebal Warming they'd be going for natural gas and eventually a move to nuclear. But, they're not. They are betting on the disaster of solar.

    As another comparison, to match the output of the TransCanada plant, you'd need 250,000 home solar units each returning 2 KW to the grid while in operation. You can pave massive areas the size of the largest cities in the US over with solar panels and you won't have enough electricity to sustain the economy. Solar is insane.

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    • #32
      A recent study shows that just on the east coast of Australia alone, we have a potential of 20,000 locations for pumped hydro, but it said we really only need around 30... so the options for choosing the the most optimum sites are good. But like with anything, it can work in some areas, but not others. My old house was producing up to 25kWh a day at peak sun times, I know all the pros and cons of solar... how much we saved was enough to convince anyone. Solar installation is booming because people and industry are starting to realise the benefits. Where I live brown coal supplies the power, wholesale prices have been steady for about 9 years now, the cost of transmission hasn't blown out... which leaves us the people who sell us the power, they have tripled the price since 2008. Why? Because they can.
      "In modern war... you will die like a dog for no good reason."
      Ernest Hemingway.

      "The more I learn about people, The more I love my dog".
      Mark Twain.

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      • #33
        Originally posted by Achtung Baby View Post
        A recent study shows that just on the east coast of Australia alone, we have a potential of 20,000 locations for pumped hydro, but it said we really only need around 30... so the options for choosing the the most optimum sites are good. But like with anything, it can work in some areas, but not others. My old house was producing up to 25kWh a day at peak sun times, I know all the pros and cons of solar... how much we saved was enough to convince anyone. Solar installation is booming because people and industry are starting to realise the benefits. Where I live brown coal supplies the power, wholesale prices have been steady for about 9 years now, the cost of transmission hasn't blown out... which leaves us the people who sell us the power, they have tripled the price since 2008. Why? Because they can.
        Pumped hydro is about 70% efficient. That means you need to generate 30% more energy than you are going to store to have a viable system. That means in turn, you start at a 30% deficit in efficiency compared to direct generation using a reliable means like natural gas. Basically, you can never drive the total cost of solar down to match natural gas, coal, or nuclear. It is simply too inefficient.

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        • #34
          I questioned the 70 percent efficiency of pumped hydro so I did a little research. I came across this article which I thought was interesting. It doesn't directly address the physics but cost may be more relevant anyway.

          http://large.stanford.edu/courses/20...galvan-lopez2/
          We hunt the hunters

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          • #35
            TAG if you have the time and would be so generous to answer a few questions?

            It seems to me that in the discussion of the efficiency of pumped hydro theoretically instead of actual efficiency is being used. For example most articles I saw state that pumps are 90 percent efficient whereas looking at manufacturers data the high end seems to be around 80 percent?
            We hunt the hunters

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            • #36
              Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post

              Pumped hydro is about 70% efficient. That means you need to generate 30% more energy than you are going to store to have a viable system. That means in turn, you start at a 30% deficit in efficiency compared to direct generation using a reliable means like natural gas. Basically, you can never drive the total cost of solar down to match natural gas, coal, or nuclear. It is simply too inefficient.
              So what! If industry cannot maintain coal as a viable source of power then pumped hydro is the next best alternative, only better(where practicable)... and as I've previously said, we have more than enough sites to build. It's all about combining the different sources of power and making it work for our benefit. We still rely heavily on coal, new gas plants are being built, yet places like Tasmania rely heavily on hydro.
              "In modern war... you will die like a dog for no good reason."
              Ernest Hemingway.

              "The more I learn about people, The more I love my dog".
              Mark Twain.

              Comment


              • #37
                Originally posted by Achtung Baby View Post

                So what! If industry cannot maintain coal as a viable source of power then pumped hydro is the next best alternative, only better(where practicable)... and as I've previously said, we have more than enough sites to build. It's all about combining the different sources of power and making it work for our benefit. We still rely heavily on coal, new gas plants are being built, yet places like Tasmania rely heavily on hydro.
                No, the next best is natural gas. There's also co-generation and biomass. Any system where you start off with a 30% deficit in efficiency is doomed to be uncompetitive.

                Hydroelectric itself is great. Maybe in Tasmania if there are running water sources small hydroelectric is the best choice. A 10 MW hydroelectric plant beats the snot out of a 10 MW solar plant using pumped hydro.

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post

                  No, the next best is natural gas. There's also co-generation and biomass. Any system where you start off with a 30% deficit in efficiency is doomed to be uncompetitive.

                  Hydroelectric itself is great. Maybe in Tasmania if there are running water sources small hydroelectric is the best choice. A 10 MW hydroelectric plant beats the snot out of a 10 MW solar plant using pumped hydro.
                  ​​​​​​Out of curiosity how should environmental costs be calculated?
                  We hunt the hunters

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by wolfhnd View Post

                    ​​​​​​Out of curiosity how should environmental costs be calculated?
                    Difficult to answer that easily. The first question to be answered is "How much pollution of a particular type is acceptable?" Right now, we are getting "We need to reduce pollution..."

                    With solar for example, if you get more ozone and urban heat island effect but less carbon what is the trade off? The way I see it, solar makes small reductions in carbon for large increases in ozone and urban heat island effects making it a negative in terms of pollution. The way the environmental Left sees it, carbon is the only thing that matters.

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