Tag Archives: renewable energy

Solar panel waste is toxic, not easily recycled

“The problem of solar panel disposal “will explode with full force in two or three decades and wreck the environment” because it “is a huge amount of waste and they are not easy to recycle.” “ click here

Wood-burning generates more CO2 emissions than coal

“Governments promote biofuels as renewable, carbon-neutral resources that serve to reduce CO2 emissions.  Meanwhile, scientists have determined that biomass burning generates more CO2 emissions per kWh than burning coal does, and the projected rapid growth in biofuel use will only serve to ‘increase atmospheric CO2 for at least a century’.” click here

“Green energy” pursuit is harmful to people in poor countries

“The grim irony of the pursuit of “green” energy is that it may be placing millions of people in poor countries at risk of living much shorter, unhealthier lives due to air pollution, according to a report from The Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF).” click here

Flexible nuclear operation lowers costs, increases revenues, benefits renewables

J.D. Jenkins, Z. Zhou, R. Ponciroli, R.B. Vilim, F. Ganda, F. de Sisternes, A. Botterud. The benefits of nuclear flexibility in power system operations with renewable energy, Applied Energy, Volume 222, 15 July 2018, Pages 872–884.

Nuclear power plants are commonly operated in a “baseload” mode at maximum rated capacity whenever online. However, nuclear power plants are technically capable of flexible operation, including changing power output over time (ramping or load following) and providing frequency regulation and operating reserves. At the same time, flexibility is becoming more valuable as many regions transition to low-carbon power systems with higher shares of variable renewable energy sources such as wind or solar power. We present a novel mixed integer linear programming formulation to more accurately represent the distinct technical operating constraints of nuclear power stations, including impacts of xenon transients in the reactor core and changing core reactivity over the fuel irradiation cycle. This novel representation of nuclear flexibility is integrated into a unit commitment and economic dispatch model for the power system. In a case study using representative utility data from the Southwest United States, we investigate the potential impacts of flexible nuclear operations in a power system with significant solar and wind energy penetration. We find that flexible nuclear operation lowers power system operating costs, increases reactor owner revenues, and substantially reduces curtailment of renewables.

Solar power and wind power drive up the cost of energy

“Between 2009 and 2017, the price of solar panels per watt declined by 75 percent while the price of wind turbines per watt declined by 50 percent. And yet — during the same period — the price of electricity in places that deployed significant quantities of renewables increased dramatically.” click here

100 percent renewable energy is unsustainable

Matthew R. Shaner, Steven J. Davis, Nathan S. Lewis, Ken Caldeira. Geophysical constraints on the reliability of solar and wind power in the United States. Energy Environ. Sci., 2018, doi: 10.1039/C7EE03029K

We analyze 36 years of global, hourly weather data (1980–2015) to quantify the covariability of solar and wind resources as a function of time and location, over multi-decadal time scales and up to continental length scales. Assuming minimal excess generation, lossless transmission, and no other generation sources, the analysis indicates that wind-heavy or solar-heavy U.S.-scale power generation portfolios could in principle provide ∼80% of recent total annual U.S. electricity demand. However, to reliably meet 100% of total annual electricity demand, seasonal cycles and unpredictable weather events require several weeks’ worth of energy storage and/or the installation of much more capacity of solar and wind power than is routinely necessary to meet peak demand. To obtain ∼80% reliability, solar-heavy wind/solar generation mixes require sufficient energy storage to overcome the daily solar cycle, whereas wind-heavy wind/solar generation mixes require continental-scale transmission to exploit the geographic diversity of wind. Policy and planning aimed at providing a reliable electricity supply must therefore rigorously consider constraints associated with the geophysical variability of the solar and wind resource—even over continental scales.

Not all Californians support Obama-Era energy policies

“At a recent public hearing, some Californians demanded EPA head Scott Pruitt reimpose Obama era climate policies on the rest of the United States. In my opinion, people who support Governor Brown’s green policies or re-imposition of Obama era energy policies are ignoring the hardship green policies create for poor people.” click here