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Collapse of King Coal
#1
https://wolfstreet.com/2021/01/12/electr...power-mix/



"In 2021, developers and power plant owners plan to bring 39.7 gigawatts (GW) of new electricity generating capacity on line, and retire 9.1 GW in generating capacity, for a net increase in capacity of 30.6 GW, according to the EIA today. 70% of the capacity additions will be from wind and solar, 16% will be from natural gas, and 3% will be from a nuclear reactor. These are utility-scale power generators and exclude rooftop solar. Of the retirements, 86% will be coal and nuclear.

Electricity generation in the US has been a no-growth business since 2006, as efficiencies in electrical equipment (LED lights, appliances, air conditioning, etc.) and further offshoring of manufacturing have kept consumption roughly stable despite growth in the economy and population. But where all heck has broken loose is in how this power is being generated (data via the EIA).



[Image: US-Power-generation-by-source-2021-01-12.png]





Coal-fired power generation has collapsed by over 60% in 12 years, from around 169 GW hours per month on average in 2008 to 65 GW hours per month on average over the past 12 months, according to data from the EIA. It went from “King Coal” by a wide margin in 2008 (black line in the chart below) to #3, after surging natural gas-fired power generation (green line) blew by it in 2015 as the US has become the largest NG producer in world. And toward the end of 2020, coal fell even below nuclear power (brown line).



In a few years, wind and solar combined (red line) will blow by coal as well. With wind and solar, the big enticement for power generators is that the “fuel” is free and that there won’t be any “fuel” price increases in the future, no matter what inflation will do....
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#2
(01-14-2021, 02:09 AM)aqua Wrote: https://wolfstreet.com/2021/01/12/electr...power-mix/



"In 2021, developers and power plant owners plan to bring 39.7 gigawatts (GW) of new electricity generating capacity on line, and retire 9.1 GW in generating capacity, for a net increase in capacity of 30.6 GW, according to the EIA today. 70% of the capacity additions will be from wind and solar, 16% will be from natural gas, and 3% will be from a nuclear reactor. These are utility-scale power generators and exclude rooftop solar. Of the retirements, 86% will be coal and nuclear.

Electricity generation in the US has been a no-growth business since 2006, as efficiencies in electrical equipment (LED lights, appliances, air conditioning, etc.) and further offshoring of manufacturing have kept consumption roughly stable despite growth in the economy and population. But where all heck has broken loose is in how this power is being generated (data via the EIA).



[Image: US-Power-generation-by-source-2021-01-12.png]





Coal-fired power generation has collapsed by over 60% in 12 years, from around 169 GW hours per month on average in 2008 to 65 GW hours per month on average over the past 12 months, according to data from the EIA. It went from “King Coal” by a wide margin in 2008 (black line in the chart below) to #3, after surging natural gas-fired power generation (green line) blew by it in 2015 as the US has become the largest NG producer in world. And toward the end of 2020, coal fell even below nuclear power (brown line).



In a few years, wind and solar combined (red line) will blow by coal as well. With wind and solar, the big enticement for power generators is that the “fuel” is free and that there won’t be any “fuel” price increases in the future, no matter what inflation will do....

Well... If electric cars really take off... It will need a lot electricity... So electricity consumption may grow again...
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#3
Natural gas has worked out well for the USA - it's a logical choice because you have so much.

The rest, not so much.
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#4
(01-15-2021, 01:22 AM)hunter Wrote: Well... If electric cars really take off... It will need a lot electricity... So electricity consumption may grow again...

And as an engineer, it really grinds my gears to hear people talk about "zero emissions vehicles", that is, electric ones. No, you are just changing where the emissions occur, not whether they occur. Not to mention all of the fallout of making the batteries.

Unless, of course, the electricity comes from nuclear, but we all know how much people who love zero emissions vehicles, love nuclear.

Don't get me wrong, I think that electric cars hold a lot of promise, and are fascinating. But they aren't what most people think they are - just like people who think that if you plunk a single solar panel on your roof you'll be set for electricity for life.
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#5
Hey brunt, as a Mech Eng only I'm allowed to have gears that grind. But you can have a stack overflow instead :-)

A few weeks ago I did a quick calculation for little New Zealand: How much generating capacity do we need to power EVs that would replace petrol cars?  It's easy to do because tax is paid on fuel so we have 100% accurate annual petrol consumption figures. I know the average efficiency of petrol engines, electric motors and transmission losses.

So for a population of about 5 million we'd need to generation over 0.5 GW continuously. Night & day. So the installed capacity to deliver that by solar or wind would need to be several GW because the 'capacity factors' for them are so low.

That's just for NZ and only to replace gasoline. To replace diesel would be massively larger.

It's all just a green dream
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#6
(01-16-2021, 12:46 AM)andrew_o Wrote: Hey brunt, as a Mech Eng only I'm allowed to have gears that grind. But you can have a stack overflow instead :-)

A few weeks ago I did a quick calculation for little New Zealand: How much generating capacity do we need to power EVs that would replace petrol cars?  It's easy to do because tax is paid on fuel so we have 100% accurate annual petrol consumption figures. I know the average efficiency of petrol engines, electric motors and transmission losses.

So for a population of about 5 million we'd need to generation over 0.5 GW continuously. Night & day. So the installed capacity to deliver that by solar or wind would need to be several GW because the 'capacity factors' for them are so low.

That's just for NZ and only to replace gasoline. To replace diesel would be massively larger.

It's all just a green dream

I'll have to steal that "stack overflow" thing. Either that, or it makes me divide by zero. Being in the no-man's land between mathematician and engineer gives me a bit of flexibility.

Yes, and there was "forward-thinking" political discussion on how we, in Canada, were going to do away with oil. Us, with not terribly infrequent one metre snowfalls that I clear with my gasoline powered snow blower. Just how they think that I am going to do that with some crummy battery-powered blower that will run for three seconds before needing to be recharged is beyond me.

Electric vehicles will be great for in-town jaunts, or for medium jaunts where there is significant stop and go traffic.

Quebec (the next province over from me) is banning sales of gasoline powered vehicles by 2035. That's not even close to practical.
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#7
I read a German road test done last winter - all but the Tesla failed to work in winter condition. Basically their range was cut dramatically. One had a range of only 62kms. So in your weather conditions (both in Canadia and the Ununited States) this is not just an inconvenience, it is a massive safety issue. Nobody needs to be stranded in a whiteout without even the car heating system functioning.

None of these clowns understand what they're talking about - the proponents of these lunatic ideas are the ones that quit maths at high school to study 'dance' instead. eg Sandy Cortez.
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