Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

General Discussion about electric vehicles.
sendler2112   10 kW

10 kW
Posts: 911
Joined: Dec 07 2012 6:14am
Location: Syracuse, NY USA

Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by sendler2112 » Jul 16 2018 9:23pm

Ohbse wrote:
Jul 16 2018 6:12pm
This is not rose tinted futurist bullshit, this is already happening and is going to explode over the next few years. Ground based liquid fueled transportation is done, the technical challenges have largely been solved and what's coming is an economics driven paradigm shift. The only sector where the physics don't stack up (yet) is flight.
The important point that is always overlooked in these discussions is the scale of what it takes to keep the world spinning these days. 93 million barrels of oil PER DAY! 1,700 kWh of thermal energy per barrel. 160 TWh per day. 2/3 is consumed by transportation. 105 TWh per day. divide that by 3 (More like 2.2) for efficiency gains for electric motors. 35 TWh per day. It takes 50 GigaFactories 20 years to make that many batteries. We currently have a world equivilent of 2.5 Gigafactories. And 5 years in, 2 cycles per day puts the first ones at 3,600 cycles and will need to be replaced all over again. So then we need the next 50 GigaRecycling factories to keep what the first factories made on the road.
.
And oil is only 1/3 of total energy consumption. 400TWh per day we are blowing through. There is no water, wind, and solar replacement for even 1/3 of this.
.
Battery vehicles and solar panels will be much better than nothing. But things will not be as rich as today. We will need a whole new way.
Last edited by sendler2112 on Jul 16 2018 11:16pm, edited 1 time in total.

Hillhater   100 GW

100 GW
Posts: 9212
Joined: Aug 03 2010 10:33pm
Location: Sydney ..(Hilly part !) .. Australia/ Down under !

Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by Hillhater » Jul 16 2018 10:35pm

Cephalotus wrote:
Jul 16 2018 9:36am
Hillhater wrote:
Jul 14 2018 12:16am

Its irrelevent how many electric cars are on the road...its the generation source that matters..
Of course not. One electric car more is one gasoline car less (+/-)

Even with actual electricity Generation e-cars are better in greenhouse gases and obviously much better compared in local Emission, which is the plague of many megacities.

And the electricity mix get's cleaner and cleaner every year (in most countries)

Goal for Germany is 60% RE electricity generation by 2030.

In 1990 we started at 4% (hydropower)
Ahh ! "Local emissions". I notice that "Local" prefix creeping into the EV conversations !
A weak attempt to deflect debates about "Total" emissions including power origin and battery manufacturing implications . ?

:shock: 60% RE for Germany within 12 yrs ? ....You are dreamin' !
How will that be achieved ? ... To do it means they will have to double the (32%) RE content that has taken 30 yrs to install in 1/3 the time.....as well as replace much of the existing wind equipment at the same time.
But now without the rebates, incentives and without all the prime wind locations that have already been used .?Not to mention the lack of political support that alowed the previous extragavance.
You have to hope an alternative to wind and solar is found quickly.
...........( we should also really talk about that Biomass burning that is classed as RE ? :roll: )
This forum owes its existence to Justin of ebikes.ca

Punx0r   10 GW

10 GW
Posts: 4812
Joined: May 03 2012 8:16am
Location: England

Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by Punx0r » Jul 17 2018 3:08am

sendler2112 wrote:
Jul 16 2018 9:23pm
It takes 50 GigaFactories 20 years to make that many batteries.
Sounds like a lot until you realise that's only a quarter of a factory per country on Earth :lol:

Global production for passenger motor vehicles last year was almost 100 million vehicles.

Hillhater   100 GW

100 GW
Posts: 9212
Joined: Aug 03 2010 10:33pm
Location: Sydney ..(Hilly part !) .. Australia/ Down under !

Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by Hillhater » Jul 17 2018 3:22am

Hmm ? :wink: t will be quite a while yet before we even have ONE fully functional "GigaFactory"
To date, the GF is an unproven concept...
Musk has said it is only 1/3 constructed, and what is there, is probably only able to function at 25% of capacity so far.
This forum owes its existence to Justin of ebikes.ca

Cephalotus   1 kW

1 kW
Posts: 470
Joined: Jun 18 2012 12:27pm

Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by Cephalotus » Jul 17 2018 5:56am

Hillhater wrote:
Jul 16 2018 10:35pm
:shock: 60% RE for Germany within 12 yrs ? ....You are dreamin' !
How will that be achieved ? ... To do it means they will have to double the (32%) RE content that has taken 30 yrs to install in 1/3 the time.....as well as replace much of the existing wind equipment at the same time.
See: (real numbers up to 2017)

ambitious, but nothing special or even impossible:

Image

...........( we should also really talk about that Biomass burning that is classed as RE ? :roll: )
as you see plan is to reduce electricity production from biomass.
Last edited by Cephalotus on Jul 17 2018 6:05am, edited 1 time in total.

Cephalotus   1 kW

1 kW
Posts: 470
Joined: Jun 18 2012 12:27pm

Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by Cephalotus » Jul 17 2018 5:59am

sendler2112 wrote:
Jul 16 2018 9:23pm
It takes 50 GigaFactories 20 years to make that many batteries. We currently have a world equivilent of 2.5 Gigafactories. And 5 years in, 2 cycles per day puts the first ones at 3,600 cycles and will need to be replaced all over again.. .
The Chinese alone will be able to build 50 "gigafactories" in 3 years as they did with solar module factories...

Hillhater   100 GW

100 GW
Posts: 9212
Joined: Aug 03 2010 10:33pm
Location: Sydney ..(Hilly part !) .. Australia/ Down under !

Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by Hillhater » Jul 17 2018 7:32pm

Cephalotus wrote:
Jul 17 2018 5:56am
Hillhater wrote:
Jul 16 2018 10:35pm
:shock: 60% RE for Germany within 12 yrs ? ....You are dreamin' !
How will that be achieved ? ...
ambitious, but nothing special or even impossible:
A paper plan is just that...a plan on paper ! ... It does not answer any of the questions.
Accellerated installations beyond previous achievements ..how ?
Solar investment has practically dried up since the rebate schemes were cut, and wind is looking at similar prospects.
And then there is that issue of finding acceptable, practical, locations for all this new infrastructure.
Costs of the current position are already a topic of political debate, so the impact of future costs will not pass easily.
This forum owes its existence to Justin of ebikes.ca

billvon   1 MW

1 MW
Posts: 1739
Joined: Sep 16 2007 9:53pm
Location: san diego

Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by billvon » Jul 17 2018 11:53pm

Hillhater wrote:
Jul 17 2018 7:32pm
Accellerated installations beyond previous achievements ..how ?
By hiring more people (= more employment) building more factories to produce turbines, PV and batteries, and installing more grid infrastructure.
Solar investment has practically dried up since the rebate schemes were cut, and wind is looking at similar prospects.
Global investment in renewable energy was up 2% in 2017 to $279.8 billion, per BNEF.
And then there is that issue of finding acceptable, practical, locations for all this new infrastructure.
Definitely. Not all energy sources work in all places. Fortunately we have not run out of deserts or mountains yet.
--bill von

Hillhater   100 GW

100 GW
Posts: 9212
Joined: Aug 03 2010 10:33pm
Location: Sydney ..(Hilly part !) .. Australia/ Down under !

Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by Hillhater » Jul 18 2018 12:52am

billvon wrote:
Jul 17 2018 11:53pm
Hillhater wrote:
Jul 17 2018 7:32pm
Accellerated installations beyond previous achievements ..how ?
By hiring more people (= more employment) building more factories to produce turbines, PV and batteries, and installing more grid infrastructure.
This is Germany we are talking about bill,..All of that might be possible if there was enough resources, money, and political will to do it.
but they are already way behind on previous targets, economically hobbled by the current level of RE spend, and in furious political disagreement about the whole RE plan.
the chances of even continuing are not clear , let alone doubling down or accelerating the plan.
Solar investment has practically dried up since the rebate schemes were cut, and wind is looking at similar prospects.
billvon wrote:
Jul 17 2018 11:53pm
Global investment in renewable energy was up 2% in 2017 to $279.8 billion, per BNEF.
Again bill, this is Germany,... solar investment is down 90% compared to a few years ago, and they have just removed the rebates and subsidies that attracted the previous Wind developments .
so what do you think that will do for future investment!
And then there is that issue of finding acceptable, practical, locations for all this new infrastructure.
billvon wrote:
Jul 17 2018 11:53pm
Definitely. Not all energy sources work in all places. Fortunately we have not run out of deserts or mountains yet...
Again,..Germany...not many deserts !..and much public objection to more onshore wind farms, since they are pretty much everywhere already. So they are focusing on Offshore wind development ( the most expensive option :? )
This forum owes its existence to Justin of ebikes.ca

sendler2112   10 kW

10 kW
Posts: 911
Joined: Dec 07 2012 6:14am
Location: Syracuse, NY USA

Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by sendler2112 » Jul 18 2018 5:32am

It was very much more windy in Germany last night than I have seen most other times I have been watching for the last month with wind making it to as high as 25% capacity factor. Solar has been peaking well at mid-day to make 50% CF for several hours.
.
https://www.electricitymap.org/?page=co ... tryCode=DE
.

Punx0r   10 GW

10 GW
Posts: 4812
Joined: May 03 2012 8:16am
Location: England

Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by Punx0r » Jul 18 2018 6:17am

Hillhater wrote:
Jul 17 2018 7:32pm
And then there is that issue of finding acceptable, practical, locations for all this new infrastructure.
Funny, it was possible to find acceptable locations for large numbers of coal and nuclear plants, even though the former constantly rains down toxic and radioactive material on nearby inhabitants and the later carries a small, but real, risk of turning nearby towns into an irradiated wasteland.

By contrast, a solar farm can sit in a field surrounded by tall trees and barely even be visible.
Last edited by Punx0r on Jul 18 2018 10:52am, edited 1 time in total.

Cephalotus   1 kW

1 kW
Posts: 470
Joined: Jun 18 2012 12:27pm

Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by Cephalotus » Jul 18 2018 6:57am

Hillhater wrote:
Jul 17 2018 7:32pm

A paper plan is just that...a plan on paper ! ... It does not answer any of the questions.
Accellerated installations beyond previous achievements ..how ?
What the hell are you talking about? Germany installed more of 7GW PV anually during 2010-2012 and the months with highest instalaltion rates has seen added 3GW in one month.

Similar with wind energy. You only accelqrted insatlaltion rates for offshore wind and this is quite plausible.

There is zero restrrictions in logistics, Manpower or ressources (or Money), ist just a matter of will, economics/politics and places to install wind turbines.
Becuase x-thousands of German wind turinines are old designs and small an ineffective there is a hug potential for repowering during the next years. Replacing old wind power plants with half as many newer and larger wind power plants will produce 3 tims more energy. And the ywill produce energy more constantly with much, much higher usage rate.

Image
Solar investment has practically dried up since the rebate schemes were cut, and wind is looking at similar prospects.
I was talking about Germany. There are no rebat schems. We have a "simple" FIT system.

Large solar and all wind is now installad via auctions. They have their own Problems, but prices are super cheap now at around 4ct/kWh for both technologies.
Small PV power plants cold see a bit mor growth ideally.

Starting in 2021 old PV power plants will leave the FIT System. On the one Hand this means much reduced costs (those old Systems get 50ct/kWh)
but there Needs to be a System how to use the electricity further.
Small residental PV power plants that are 20 years old ususally still work very well (as has been seen from the old 1000 rooftop programm) , so most likely they will last for 30 to 40 years.
And then there is that issue of finding acceptable, practical, locations for all this new infrastructure.
Costs of the current position are already a topic of political debate, so the impact of future costs will not pass easily.
It#s already calculated. There is more than enough space for new wind power plants even in Germany, but political will/Opposition varies from federal state to federal state.
It will not happen without the political will and public Support, but there is no technological barrier.
Shutting down the last of our old and unflexible nuclear power plants in 2022 will help significantly.

If political and public opinion changes 60% RE will not happen. It's a plan for the future and so far it looks to be on track.

Other People had sad that 10% RE are impossible, than 20% are impossible, than 30% are impossible than 40% are impossible and yat in first half of 2018 we are at more than 40% RE in cloudy and densly populated Germany with Little sun and Little wind and high energy consumption.
50% is possible, 60% is possible and even 80% is possible.
After taht it will get more complicated with need for storage and power2x, but that's the future.

next step is 60% RE for 2030, ca. 50% being solar and wind.

Cost for grid and System Integration will grow, but at 4ct/kWh for NEW PV and wind and the huge cost for old PV and old biomass slowly going away in 2030 we will expect to pay less for RE electricity than today.

Here is a quite detailled Excel tool where you can make your own calculations for the EEG costs:

https://www.agora-energiewende.de/veroe ... uer-excel/

This is the manual (sadly both are in German)
https://www.agora-energiewende.de/veroe ... g-rechner/

EEG costs are not 100% of the true costs, you have to include grid costs, costs for less usage on fossil fuel plants (in €/kWh) and costs for grid Services, but it gives a good idea.

Much better than guessing into the blue :-)

Hillhater   100 GW

100 GW
Posts: 9212
Joined: Aug 03 2010 10:33pm
Location: Sydney ..(Hilly part !) .. Australia/ Down under !

Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by Hillhater » Jul 18 2018 9:08am

Punx0r wrote:
Jul 18 2018 6:17am
Hillhater wrote:
Jul 17 2018 7:32pm
And then there is that issue of finding acceptable, practical, locations for all this new infrastructure.
Funny, it was possible to find acceptable locations for large numbers of coal and nuclear plants, even though the former constantly rains down toxic and radioactive material on nearby inhabitants and the later carries a small, but real, risk of turning nearby towns into an irradiated wasteland.

By contrast, a solar farm can sit in a field surrounding by tall trees and barely even be visible.
Seriously ?? :shock:
How many sqr kms of solar farm, or how many wind turbines, do you need to produce the same power as one coal plant ? ..do you even have a clue ? ( sorry,...its obvious you do not )
Your knowledge of radiation sources is apparently on par with your solar awareness also..
The radiation you might recieve by living close to a coal power plant ALL YOUR 90 YRS OF LIFE,...would be much less than you get during ONE 5hr COMMERCIAL AIR FLIGHT. !
And your solar farm hiding behind a hedge ?. :lol: :lol: ... I doubt Germany has a single field big enough to accomodate a 15 TWh capacity solar farm ( That is the annual capacity of a typical 2GW coal generator plant )
This forum owes its existence to Justin of ebikes.ca

Punx0r   10 GW

10 GW
Posts: 4812
Joined: May 03 2012 8:16am
Location: England

Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by Punx0r » Jul 18 2018 11:18am

As always, you never provide references so I just had a look myself:

Living within 50km of a typical coal plant: 0.3uS per year (nuclear plant is 0.09uS/yr)
Typical flight from NY to LA: 40uS

https://skeptics.stackexchange.com/ques ... wer-plants

So about an order of magnitude worse than your claim. Regardless, the question was of PUBLIC ACCEPTABILITY, which is largely divorced from facts and figures and actual risk. The headline is simply a choice between having one coal plant near you that emits (literally) tons of uranium, thorium and mercury into your air each year, or a bunch more, but inert, wind turbines? Would you prefer one live hand grenade kept under your bed or 20 bricks?


Do you realise that wind turbines can (and frequently are) sited on arable land and the usage and utility of that land remains almost entirely unchanged? I.e. you can still farm it just like before except for losing a tiny fraction of the ground area to the turbine mast? Can you do that with a coal plant? Can you put a mini-coal plant on the unused space on your home/office/factory roof?


Why is it you always have to taken what someone has said and distort it into a strawman argument? I cite the actually-done practice of screening some solar farms from view with "trees" (which are tall) and you change it to "a hedge" (which are short). Fine, a hedge if you like - a 50ft Leylandii one.

Likewise, I describe a field of solar panels (again, a done thing) and you suggest it's a ridiculous because you can't fit an arbitrary 15TWh of PV in a typical field.


Do you have anything at all to contribute? Or are you here simply to be a contrarian?
Last edited by Punx0r on Jul 18 2018 12:15pm, edited 1 time in total.

billvon   1 MW

1 MW
Posts: 1739
Joined: Sep 16 2007 9:53pm
Location: san diego

Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by billvon » Jul 18 2018 12:10pm

Hillhater wrote:
Jul 18 2018 9:08am
How many sqr kms of solar farm, or how many wind turbines, do you need to produce the same power as one coal plant ?
Easy. Plant Scherer is a large coal plant in the US. 3.5 gigawatts, capacity factor 61% - so 2.1 gigawatts average output. 3500 acres for the plant. It uses 11 million tons of coal a year. The Black Thunder mine produces 90 million tons of coal a year on 36,000 acres - so you'd need 4400 acres for the mine to support this. So 7900 acres.

Largest US wind farm is the Mojave. 3200 acres, 1.5 gigawatts nameplate, 30% availability so .45 gigawatts average output. So you'd need 4.5 of these to generate as much as Scherer, which would be 14,400 acres.

Modern PV gives you an efficiency of 18%, with good areas providing 5 equivalent hours of full sun a day. (21% availability) So a square meter of panels will give you 38 watts average. So to generate 2.1 gigawatts average in a good sun area, you'd need an area 7.4 kilometers (4.6 miles) square, or 13,700 acres.

So coal - 7900 acres, with the land unusable for anything else. (and something of a nightmare afterwards when it comes to coal mines.) Solar - 13,700 acres, and the land usable for any building/road/parking lot you want to put under it. Wind - 14,400 acres, with the land usable for farming underneath.
The radiation you might recieve by living close to a coal power plant ALL YOUR 90 YRS OF LIFE,...would be much less than you get during ONE 5hr COMMERCIAL AIR FLIGHT. !
Coal causes about 13,000 deaths in the US every year from particulate pollution. Many of those are from particulates of uranium and thorium that are inhaled, settle in the lungs and cause lung cancer.

During an airplane flight, the radiation exposure is all ionizing; there are no particulates that lodge in your lungs. Assuming .003mSv/hour, a risk of cancer of .005% per every mSv you are exposed to, and a "flying population" in the US of 150 million, you'd expect to see about 100 deaths as a result of that 5 hour flight you mention. So far less than 1% of the risk of breathing coal-tainted air in the US. (And at last check, everyone who lives in the US breathes the air - ISS astronauts over the US being perhaps the one exception.)
Last edited by billvon on Jul 18 2018 12:34pm, edited 1 time in total.
--bill von

Punx0r   10 GW

10 GW
Posts: 4812
Joined: May 03 2012 8:16am
Location: England

Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by Punx0r » Jul 18 2018 12:21pm

Thanks for clarifying that, I suspected there would be a difference in the "type" of radiation from each source. I think it was HillHater in another thread claiming that wind turbines were more harmful because the radioactive waste from rare-earth metal mining was greater in quantity than that produced by a nuclear plant, while ignoring what kind of waste each produced.

Cephalotus   1 kW

1 kW
Posts: 470
Joined: Jun 18 2012 12:27pm

Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by Cephalotus » Jul 18 2018 6:12pm

Hillhater wrote:
Jul 18 2018 9:08am

And your solar farm hiding behind a hedge ?. :lol: :lol: ... I doubt Germany has a single field big enough to accomodate a 15 TWh capacity solar farm ( That is the annual capacity of a typical 2GW coal generator plant )
Surprise, suprise: There is no need to put all solar panels in just one sibgle place.

There is more than enough place on our roofs alone.

Done well PV power plants are small paradises for many species in our agricultural desert....

Image

You can also use them in combination with green roofs:

Image

This is the future.

Not your dystopia of fossil-fuel mining and nuclear wastelands and polluted air on an overheated planet.

Image

sendler2112   10 kW

10 kW
Posts: 911
Joined: Dec 07 2012 6:14am
Location: Syracuse, NY USA

Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by sendler2112 » Jul 18 2018 10:25pm

We will additionally need social change. The diminishing societal surplus will very soon no longer support a situation where 1% of the population can run off with 80% of the wealth every year. Rebuildables cannot replace even the necessary 1/3 after full electrificatin of the 400TWh per day we are blowing through every day. There will be a Great Simplification. And those Billions of people that already do not have enough cannot afford to get even less. Maybe 30 years left. Maybe 10.

Punx0r   10 GW

10 GW
Posts: 4812
Joined: May 03 2012 8:16am
Location: England

Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by Punx0r » Jul 19 2018 2:58am

Since you are so sure there is an impending societal collapse (or at least upheaval), I'm curious what action you are taking now to protect yourself? I suspect the answer is "none" because even you don't really think it's going to happen in 10 years.

sendler2112   10 kW

10 kW
Posts: 911
Joined: Dec 07 2012 6:14am
Location: Syracuse, NY USA

Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by sendler2112 » Jul 19 2018 5:54am

The best I can do is raise awareness. Learn, think, talk. Many of the physical things are entrenched and so are not easy to alter. But there is still time to push for societal change. World OECD debt to GDP ratios are 350% for over a decade. And even if we were at 1:1 or better as we were up until the 70's, a growth based economy cannot continue on a finite planet. We have already exceeded the carrying capacity and are only propped up by utilizing ancient sunlight (fossil fuel) in addition to the current sunlight. We need a whole new way. The longer we keep kicking the can down the road, the more painful it will be.

Punx0r   10 GW

10 GW
Posts: 4812
Joined: May 03 2012 8:16am
Location: England

Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by Punx0r » Jul 19 2018 8:44am

So nothing that would demonstrate any commitment to your prognostications, then.

I'd have thought you'd at least be optimising your home/finances/resources for what you are so sure is coming.

sendler2112   10 kW

10 kW
Posts: 911
Joined: Dec 07 2012 6:14am
Location: Syracuse, NY USA

Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by sendler2112 » Jul 19 2018 9:35am

Yes. cash hoarding/ working overtime. 3 months of dry staples and canned goods on the shelves. Just for practice. 10 gallons of water and fuel in cans. Acclimated myself to use no a/c. No easy way to add self reliant heat to my second story apartment. Although I do have an "acquired abhorrence" to wasting energy and fuel. I have been challenged by my online tribe, as a mental exercise, to practice a day without food once per week, and a day without electricity or electronics. Will sell everything and move to a more temperate climate after my father passes in a few years and learn how to grow my own food. There is time. Mainly learning, thinking, and talking. For now.

sendler2112   10 kW

10 kW
Posts: 911
Joined: Dec 07 2012 6:14am
Location: Syracuse, NY USA

Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by sendler2112 » Jul 19 2018 9:42am

Modified diet. Optimum fitness. Health concerns/ teeth/ eyes addressed. No banal tv or sports entertainment. no impulsive consumption of "stuff". Shall I go on?

Hillhater   100 GW

100 GW
Posts: 9212
Joined: Aug 03 2010 10:33pm
Location: Sydney ..(Hilly part !) .. Australia/ Down under !

Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by Hillhater » Jul 19 2018 10:38am

billvon wrote:
Jul 18 2018 12:10pm
Hillhater wrote:
Jul 18 2018 9:08am
How many sqr kms of solar farm, or how many wind turbines, do you need to produce the same power as one coal plant ?
Easy. Plant Scherer is a large coal plant in the US. 3.5 gigawatts, capacity factor 61% - so 2.1 gigawatts average output. 3500 acres for the plant. It uses 11 million tons of coal a year. The Black Thunder mine produces 90 million tons of coal a year on 36,000 acres - so you'd need 4400 acres for the mine to support this. So 7900 acres.

Largest US wind farm is the Mojave. 3200 acres, 1.5 gigawatts nameplate, 30% availability so .45 gigawatts average output. So you'd need 4.5 of these to generate as much as Scherer, which would be 14,400 acres.

Modern PV gives you an efficiency of 18%, with good areas providing 5 equivalent hours of full sun a day. (21% availability) So a square meter of panels will give you 38 watts average. So to generate 2.1 gigawatts average in a good sun area, you'd need an area 7.4 kilometers (4.6 miles) square, or 13,700 acres.

So coal - 7900 acres, with the land unusable for anything else. (and something of a nightmare afterwards when it comes to coal mines.) Solar - 13,700 acres, and the land usable for any building/road/parking lot you want to put under it. Wind - 14,400 acres, with the land usable for farming underneath.
So many wrong figures !!..
your coal plant runs low CF ..why ?..ours run at 85% + actual and that is 40 yr old plants.
and i would expect a new plant to be better..hence the 2.0 GW capacity needed for 15TWh annual.
Solar ..data from Germany 2017 reports their 42GW (nameplate) solar installations generated 36TWh of energy
therefore for another 15TWh , they would need 17.5 Gw (np) of solar.
For area required ( rather than just your "panel area" ) lets use Californias "Desert Sunlight" solar farm as a basis...16sqr Kms for 550MW (np)....
That suggests for the 17.5GW solar Germany would need 509 sqr kms ! :shock: ..127,000 acres ! :shock:
Wind..again Germanys actual CF for 2017 was 23% ( not 30%)
and adjusting your figures for that,.....suggests 18,500 acres of wind farm needed
This forum owes its existence to Justin of ebikes.ca

billvon   1 MW

1 MW
Posts: 1739
Joined: Sep 16 2007 9:53pm
Location: san diego

Re: Wind and Solar vs Coal, Gasoline, Nuclear

Post by billvon » Jul 19 2018 11:26am

Hillhater wrote:
Jul 19 2018 10:38am
So many wrong figures !!..
Indeed! Let's list them.
your coal plant runs low CF ..why ?.
Maintenance, uneven power demand, cheaper power available during the day, things like that.
and i would expect a new plant to be better..hence the 2.0 GW capacity needed for 15TWh annual.
OK. And new solar and wind installations will also be more efficient, so we'd see an increase there as well.
For area required ( rather than just your "panel area" ) lets use Californias "Desert Sunlight" solar farm as a basis...16sqr Kms for 550MW (np)....
Yep. They use old (and less efficient) First Solar CdTe panels rather than modern monocrystalline panels. 10% vs 18% - quite a difference.:shock: So you were off by almost a factor of two! :shock: I guess "so many wrong figures" referred to your post. :)
Last edited by billvon on Jul 19 2018 11:44am, edited 1 time in total.
--bill von

Post Reply