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Old September 21st, 2019, 13:51   #271
atc98002
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On that chart it's nice to see that here in the Pac NW we still have almost 50% hydro power. The way the environmentalists have been lambasting hydro dams I wasn't sure our level was still as high as that. And the 22% coal is going to be gone I believe within 5 years. Add to that our relatively low electric rates, and you can see why my PHEV is so cost effective. Its cost per mile is better than my Passat TDI was, and if fuel prices start rising (a distinct possibility with the situation in the middle east) it's even better.

That said, I'm considering the possibility of teleworking more extensively, and moving further away from my office. I work with someone who lives in Spokane (eastern edge of WA) and files into Seattle one day a week, stays at a hotel for one night, then flies home after working the next day. He says it's cheaper than maintaining an apartment near work and driving home each weekend. But that's a 5+ hour drive under no-traffic or weather conditions. I'm looking at a town about 100 miles away from the office, and just driving across the mountains once a week (or once every two weeks if possible), unless the pass is closed for snow. For that trip I'd find a Golf or Jetta TDI. Driving my PHEV would cost just as little as a diesel (it gets about 60 MPG on engine power) but would rack up miles on a leased vehicle. Shoot, I'd even go with an older IDI diesel for a drive like that. But since I'd like heated seats and A/C, that more than likely means something new enough to be a TDI.
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Old September 21st, 2019, 13:57   #272
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Originally Posted by IndigoBlueWagon View Post
I know there are windmills that are producing power. But both prior posts acknowledge that there are obsolete or abandoned windmills there. That's all I was saying. It's a great location for wind farms, but I wonder what percentage of the windmills there are actually productive.
I wondered the same thing and I was surprised that in 2018 more than 30% of all CA
electrical generation was from renewable sources - more than triple nuclear.
The San Gorgonio region (Palm Springs) obviously is a contributing factor to this.
In the US as a whole, in 2018 the percentage was 17.1% electrical from renewables.
Nuclear energy in the whole US for 2018 was 19.3% by comparison.
For 2019 those figures may well be reversed.
Your original post refers to renewable power as 'a very small portion of power generation'.
In the same post you express surprise of how much energy is produced by nuclear.
This is what I meant when I said you see what you want to see.
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Old September 21st, 2019, 15:21   #273
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My surprise regarding Nuclear is because I believe there are either 1 or 2 operating plants in New England. They've closed Vermont Yankee, Pilgrim (near me) in recent years. Of course no new plants are coming online.

And I'd suggest we all see what we want to see regarding renewables. I suspect that 17.1% number. I suppose it could be true, but I'm wonder how much of it is actually used and not shed. I know, for example, transmission over distances from windmills is a challenge.

And don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of renewables. I've generated all my household electric with solar panels for the past 6 years.
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Old September 21st, 2019, 18:06   #274
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eGRID covers what actually made it out to the grid as I understand, not installed capacity. So, those figures are including the effects of curtailment.
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Old September 21st, 2019, 19:03   #275
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IndigoBlueWagon View Post
My surprise regarding Nuclear is because I believe there are either 1 or 2 operating plants in New England. They've closed Vermont Yankee, Pilgrim (near me) in recent years. Of course no new plants are coming online.
And I'd suggest we all see what we want to see regarding renewables. I suspect that 17.1% number. I suppose it could be true, but I'm wonder how much of it is actually used and not shed. I know, for example, transmission over distances from windmills is a challenge.
And don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of renewables. I've generated all my household electric with solar panels for the past 6 years.
You suspect the published and reviewed data based on what? It doesn't feel right?
Is transmission for nuclear or petro based electrical somehow not a challenge?
Reactors as well as petro power plants have location-based issues due to their need
for fuel transport and storage, cooling requirements and the smokestack emissions.

Look, while we mess around with old cars and get older ourselves,
the world goes on toward increasing the renewable energy baseline every day.
The best news that nobody knows is that solar and wind energy are now cheaper than
nuclear energy and will continue to increase its contribution while nuclear is allowed to
fade into a well deserved obscurity.
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Old September 21st, 2019, 19:15   #276
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Yes, it didn't "feel" right. And now I know why. Very little searching shows that 43% of that 17.1% is hydro. And only 6% of that 17% is solar. That "feels" right to me. I know that hydro is renewable (duh), but we were talking about windmills, not dams.

Hydro and windmills have location-based issues, too. Windmill towers tall enough to get above the trees are prohibited in most towns where I live. And some towns are considering banning free standing solar arrays. It's all about aesthetics, and some of the odd (in my opinion) concerns about windmills. And I'm sure you're aware of people's ecological concerns regarding dams and hydro plants.

Given the little I understand about wind generated power, putting the supply as close as possible to the point of consumption seems to make sense. I would love to have a windmill to compliment the solar array at my house. Not gonna happen in this town.

Here's an example of why I suspected the number. I was in LA visiting family weekend before last. My brother-in-law has a solar array on his house. He didn't install the array, he bought the house with it less than a year ago. As far as he knows his utility doesn't offer net metering. And he's typically not home during peak generation periods. So a lot of what the panels generate isn't consumed as far as I could tell. So how is the output of his system calculated for statistical purposes? By the size of the array? By its actual input into the grid? I just wonder.
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Old September 21st, 2019, 19:34   #277
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Currently in the US wind energy use is about 6 times solar energy use.
In fact, wind energy in the US for 2018 was about equal to hydropower.
Since hydropower is slow to increase compared to wind power, wind is likely ahead by now.
That's a lot of windmills somewhere. Not seeing them doesn't mean they don't exist.
As time marches on solar will probably win out, though, because it is easier to de-centralize.
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Old September 21st, 2019, 19:49   #278
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If the home has a smart meter, even if the utility doesn't offer net metering billing, they may be able to account for the power supplied to the grid at that point.

In any case, with wind, you generally want as large of turbines as material science makes practical, and mount them as high as you can, to capture as much wind energy as possible. That generally encourages large farms of turbines, and then distribution from there. Wind can be absolutely ridiculously large scale if you get into flatlands, or near hilltops in rolling terrain.
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Old September 21st, 2019, 20:27   #279
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The size of industrial scale wind turbines has grown enormously since the 80's. I frequently see individual turbine blades getting transported on massive semi trailers, and they are gargantuan.
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Old September 22nd, 2019, 06:12   #280
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Recent article I read said the salmon and trout populations in the Columbia river system are near the point of critical failure. Orcas that are sustained by those species are near critical failure. The fish ladders in the dams don’t work that well. Where I live, about 10 years ago, one of TVA’s coal slurry ponds broke its banks and created a miles-long swath where nothing lived.

Meanwhile, utility companies coast to coast are bankrolling legislators to make it illegal (or prohibitively expensive) to sell your solar generated power to a willing buyer.
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Old September 22nd, 2019, 12:51   #281
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If you want to see massive windfarms - take a drive on I70 In Western Kansas. I swear - there must at least 1000 of them . And they are TALL - with those turbine blades that need to be transported by oversized loads semi-trailers .


Now, not every area is blessed with such winds, but where it is possible....
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Old September 22nd, 2019, 13:22   #282
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If you want to see massive windfarms - take a drive on I70 In Western Kansas. I swear - there must at least 1000 of them . And they are TALL - with those turbine blades that need to be transported by oversized loads semi-trailers .


Now, not every area is blessed with such winds, but where it is possible....
Suspect way more than a 1000
Blight on flyover country
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Old September 22nd, 2019, 13:41   #283
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At the risk of derailing the thread even more...

The FAA has a problem with these wind farms if they are too close to one of our radar sites. They can really wreck havoc with the data return, and of course that's unacceptable. As we move to ADS-B, with less reliance on radar for aircraft separation, this will of course become less of an issue. Because they are so tall, that gives the FAA the authority to approve or deny an application. Anything more than 200' AGL, and it doesn't have to be close to an airport. Of course, if you are close to an airport, the requirements are even stricter.
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Old September 23rd, 2019, 06:07   #284
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Quote:
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They don't show that because it's still a very small portion of power generation. What I'm surprised at is how much of the generation is nuclear. We've been through waves of renewable generation in the past, just drive to Palm Springs to see all the idle Reagan era windmills. I hope it takes hold this time but low oil prices don't bode well for renewables.
I'm not surprised by the high number for nuclear energy in VA and the Carolinas. In Charlotte, we have two nuclear reactors, one coal plant, and three back-up hydros.
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Old September 23rd, 2019, 06:21   #285
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scooperhsd View Post
If you want to see massive windfarms - take a drive on I70 In Western Kansas. I swear - there must at least 1000 of them . And they are TALL - with those turbine blades that need to be transported by oversized loads semi-trailers .


Now, not every area is blessed with such winds, but where it is possible....
The wind farms are also spreading all over Iowa. Wind has been used for centuries on a smaller scale. Most farmsteads in the Midwest and Plains states have one for pumping water and sometimes for power things like hay conveyors. Iowa has passed a law restricting how close to a house a wind turbine can be located. I guess it's a safety issue if the turbine explodes.
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