Entropy

Relax in southern comfort on the east bank of the Mississippi. You're just around the corner from Beale Street and Sun Records. Watch the ducks, throw back a few and tell us what's on your mind.
billshurv
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Re: Entropy

Post by billshurv » Sun Jun 02, 2019 5:22 pm

Gold wrote:
Sat Jun 01, 2019 4:56 pm

My point was that small scale wind is not practical.
You do realise large scale wind is only practical because of the guaranteed well over market rate $/MW you get?

Given the limited number of moving parts in a wind pump and the fact that farmers will probably pay you to take old ones away I think I'd steampunk it if were me. But only house I have owned with a well had the well condemned due to pollution. Shame as was a beautiful brick built affair in the front garden.

Gold
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Re: Entropy

Post by Gold » Sun Jun 02, 2019 8:27 pm

billshurv wrote:
Sun Jun 02, 2019 5:22 pm
You do realise large scale wind is only practical because of the guaranteed well over market rate $/MW you get
I meant practical from a technical standpoint. A public utility is able to monitor and maintain a wind farm.

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JR.
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Re: Entropy

Post by JR. » Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:45 am

billshurv wrote:
Sun Jun 02, 2019 5:22 pm
Gold wrote:
Sat Jun 01, 2019 4:56 pm

My point was that small scale wind is not practical.
You do realise large scale wind is only practical because of the guaranteed well over market rate $/MW you get?
At some point even utilities must bend to actual cost and market forces. My local "clean coal" (cough) power plant built with $B cost over runs, now burns NG, because coal is more expensive than NG.

Voters appear on board with the green concepts, just not the bottom line costs that rarely gets considered sensibly. As a local rate payer I fully expect to be saddled with paying back the extraordinary cost of that white elephant CC power plant. The local utility regulator has resisted approving steep rate increases, but guess who has to pay the interest, and ultimately pay back the municipal bonds issued to cover the debt?

I wish they built a nuclear plant instead but there is a local coal seam they wanted to exploit. It made sense on paper, but we live in the real world and circumstances changed during the years of delays and cost over runs from trying to use unproved technology before its time.

JR
Visit https://circularscience.com to hear what properly "cleared" drums sound like.

Gold
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Re: Entropy

Post by Gold » Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:33 am

Pricing is a constantly moving target. Bringing the cost of alternative energy down seems like an engineering issue. It gets better all the time. I don’t know why DARPA isn’t funding lots of research. Not having to transport fuel or transporting less fuel would save the military much more than the raw cost of the fuel.

billshurv
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Re: Entropy

Post by billshurv » Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:52 am

No it doesn't. Wind farms are guaranteed a rate and guaranteed the grid will buy all production at that rate. New nuclear in UK is going the same way. This rate is nearly double the 'normal' rate. It really is madness.

Gold
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Re: Entropy

Post by Gold » Mon Jun 03, 2019 11:45 am

Oil has crazy tax breaks in the US. If those went away alternative energy would seem much less expensive. I don't have a problem with energy subsidies. Everyone gets them.

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JR.
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Re: Entropy

Post by JR. » Mon Jun 03, 2019 12:13 pm

Gold wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:33 am
Pricing is a constantly moving target. Bringing the cost of alternative energy down seems like an engineering issue. It gets better all the time. I don’t know why DARPA isn’t funding lots of research. Not having to transport fuel or transporting less fuel would save the military much more than the raw cost of the fuel.
What makes you think DARPA is not working on this (at least alternate fuels like biofuels)..? The military concern was about another oil embargo (or risks like Iran's current mischief in the straits of Hormuz) or other world events that could interrupt oil supply. We are probably a net exporter now so can muddle through. I believe the military has already flown aircraft using biofuels.

I keep waiting for solar cells and batteries to get better/more efficient..(game changing improvements have been right around the corner for decades :oops: ). They get incrementally better but volumes are driven by government incentives and central planning... China is heavily invested in dominating the solar market and eventually the EV.

At some point, probably after my lifetime, alternate energy may truly become cost effective as oil becomes scarce and more valuable to make plastic bags with or whatever, than to just burn. We seem pretty far from that now.

Anyone recall the peak oil arguments from years ago? :lol:

JR
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Gold
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Re: Entropy

Post by Gold » Mon Jun 03, 2019 12:29 pm

JR. wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 12:13 pm

What makes you think DARPA is not working on this (at least alternate fuels like biofuels)..?
I keep waiting for solar cells and batteries to get better/more efficient..(game changing improvements have been right around the corner for decades :oops: ). They get incrementally better but volumes are driven by government incentives and central planning... China is heavily invested in dominating the solar market and eventually the EV.


I think DARPA is working on these things. It's not the tip of the spear for a concerted effort the USA to be technological leader like in computer science.

I think it's a crisis that China and Germany are leaving us in the dust. A large portion of home energy needs could be met with current solar technology in the US. Maybe not everywhere but in a lot of places. There could be a mandate that some percentage of home energy must come from solar. Then investment in solar would drive the building industry.

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JR.
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Re: Entropy

Post by JR. » Mon Jun 03, 2019 1:12 pm

Gold wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 12:29 pm
JR. wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 12:13 pm

What makes you think DARPA is not working on this (at least alternate fuels like biofuels)..?
I keep waiting for solar cells and batteries to get better/more efficient..(game changing improvements have been right around the corner for decades :oops: ). They get incrementally better but volumes are driven by government incentives and central planning... China is heavily invested in dominating the solar market and eventually the EV.


I think DARPA is working on these things. It's not the tip of the spear for a concerted effort the USA to be technological leader like in computer science.
Space force seems more pressing, while cyber security remains high on the list. China has already demonstrated capability to shoot down satellites out of orbit.

Drama surrounding chinese company Huawei seems appropriate. Cheap 5G gear may be a trojan horse to gain visibility into all that data flowing in future western 5G networks.

I think it's a crisis that China and Germany are leaving us in the dust.
? Germany is not as strong as they were before they decommissioned their nuclear power plants, and Angela Merkel invited 1M migrants into the country. Instead of cheap labor to help keep the factories humming she got civil problems from the culture clash, and new low popularity with her voters. That open door slammed shut pretty fast. The EU is getting moved around by negative interest rates from EU central bankers, and BREXIT uncertainty.

China's success at central planning still stands to be seen. Their accounting is pretty opaque so hard to trust. They like to subsidize key technologies to drive competitors out of the world market (like solar panel makers). A few years back they did that for rare earth metals market, now they threaten withholding RE as pressure point for trade negotiations.

Japan figured out how to make EV technologies less dependent on rare earths, and we can reopen our closed processing plants again if it becomes economic again. (Rare earth processing is dirty and generally undesirable).
A large portion of home energy needs could be met with current solar technology in the US. Maybe not everywhere but in a lot of places. There could be a mandate that some percentage of home energy must come from solar. Then investment in solar would drive the building industry.
The government thumb is already on that scale but it still does not change the underlying economics. As I speculated recently the useful life of solar panels is 25 years and we've been putting them up a lot longer than that (albeit in modest numbers), with no effective recycling plan in sight. This will become more pressing in time.

The green new deal is a feel good concept (wish list), not a viable plan.

JR
Visit https://circularscience.com to hear what properly "cleared" drums sound like.

Gold
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Re: Entropy

Post by Gold » Mon Jun 03, 2019 1:20 pm

JR. wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 1:12 pm
The green new deal is a feel good concept (wish list), not a viable plan.
Right, just ask the people who wrote it. No actual legislation was ever written or proposed. Fox ginned up a giant straw man. They are good at that.

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