2011-06-11 14:28:21A Detailed Look at Renewable Baseload Energy
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
69.230.102.37

I collaborated with Mark Diesendorf (environmental scientist at UNSW, formerly of CSIRO) on this post, which we'll also make into the advanced rebuttal to "renewables can't provide baseload energy".

A Detailed Look at Renewable Baseload Energy

2011-06-11 20:46:56
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.92.123.103

The British case study was a surprise to me. Not an area I'm well read on, so can't offer anything constructive, but I can add a thumbs up.

2011-06-12 04:59:34
Andy S

skucea@telus...
66.183.188.172

In their plan, 85% of the British energy demand is supplied through wind (76% from offshore turnbines, 9% from onshore), 5% from wave and tidal stream, 4.5% from fixed tidal, 4% from biomass, 3% from biogas, 0.9% each from nuclear and hydroelectric, and 0.5% from solar photovoltaic (PV) (Figure 3).

I think that "energy demand" is not correct, rather you should have said electricity, as shown in the figure ES.2 (I still can't upload images, help!) from the same report. Also, the 76% from offshore wind doesn't look right even on the pie chart you show, since the offshore wind slice appears to be less than three-quarters in size. And "turnbines" is a typo.

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I admit that I'm a reflexive skeptic when it comes to claims that offshore wind can provide 75% of the UK's electricity needs in just 19 years. It's not just the economics or whether the energy will in practice prove to be reliable baseload power. It's also whether it's feasible to scale it up to the size needed in the time available (more than 100 times the amount of wind energy will be required in 2030 compared to what the UK produces now). David MacKay compares the effort required in steel alone to WWII ship-building efforts. It's all too easy to get lost in the big numbers and I need to do a lot of reading and calculating to see if my skepticism is reasonable.

2011-06-12 08:15:11
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
69.230.102.37

Thanks Andy, good catches.

2011-06-12 09:24:46
Andy S

skucea@telus...
66.183.188.172

Dana

I dont know if you have looked at this report. Pages 54 onwards have some commentary on intermittency, including this graph on offshore wind which shows a positive seasonal correlation between supply of offshore wind output and electricity demand. I would imagine that there are similar relationships between solar energy and air-conditioner electricity demand in hotter places.

2011-06-12 10:07:52
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
69.230.102.37

Thanks Andy, that's a useful resource for the British case study discussion.  I've added it.

2011-06-12 10:16:33
MartinS

mstolpe@student.ethz...
129.132.208.24

Thumbs up!

 

Recent studies by the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory found that wind could supply 20-30% of electricity, given improved transmission links and a lottle low-cost felxible back-up.

should be little, shouldn't it?

You could add a few more national case studies:

- Portugal: Krajačić et al 2010

- Ireland: Connolly et al 2010

And more general paper:

Mathiesen et al 2010:

Greenhouse gas mitigation strategies are generally considered costly with world leaders often engaging in debate concerning the costs of mitigation and the distribution of these costs between different countries. In this paper, the analyses and results of the design of a 100% renewable energy system by the year 2050 are presented for a complete energy system including transport. Two short-term transition target years in the process towards this goal are analysed for 2015 and 2030. The energy systems are analysed and designed with hour-by-hour energy system analyses. The analyses reveal that implementing energy savings, renewable energy and more efficient conversion technologies can have positive socio-economic effects, create employment and potentially lead to large earnings on exports. If externalities such as health effects are included, even more benefits can be expected. 100% Renewable energy systems will be technically possible in the future, and may even be economically beneficial compared to the business-as-usual energy system. Hence, the current debate between leaders should reflect a combination of these two main challenges.


2011-06-12 10:28:44
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
69.230.102.37

Thanks Martin.  I updated the post to incorporate all those papers.

2011-06-13 07:14:50
Andy S

skucea@telus...
66.183.170.32

This may be of interest, From here

2011-06-13 07:16:00
Andy S

skucea@telus...
66.183.170.32

Forgot

2011-06-13 17:50:24Excellent debunking of renewable baseload myth
James Wight

jameswight@southernphone.com...
121.79.14.24

From an Australian perspective it would be very relevant to mention Zero Carbon Australia 2020 as well as all these other plans.

Andy, I also have some skepticism about Zero Carbon Britain 2030 - I seem to remember reading it would require using half the country for biofuels and biochar.

2011-06-14 01:59:18
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
64.129.227.4

Thanks James.  Good point, I forgot zero carbon australia.  Will add that one, plus Andy's point about solar availability matching up well with peak energy demand.