Global Warming Will Substantially Change All Weather — Except Wind, Which Stays the Same

This is a pretty funny point noticed by Marlo Lewis at globalwarming.org.  Global warming will apparently cause more rain, more drought, more tornadoes, more hurricanes, more extreme hot weather, more extreme cold weather, more snow, and less snow.

Fortunately, the only thing it apparently does not change is wind, and leaves winds everywhere at least as strong as they are now.

Rising global temperatures will not significantly affect wind energy production in the United States concludes a new study published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition.

But warmer temperatures could make wind energy somewhat more plentiful say two Indiana University (IU) Bloomington scientists funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

. . .

They found warmer atmospheric temperatures will do little to reduce the amount of available wind or wind consistency–essentially wind speeds for each hour of the day–in major wind corridors that principally could be used to produce wind energy.

. . .

“The models tested show that current wind patterns across the US are not expected to change significantly over the next 50 years since the predicted climate variability in this time period is still within the historical envelope of climate variability,” said Antoinette WinklerPrins, a Geography and Spatial Sciences Program director at NSF.

“The impact on future wind energy production is positive as current wind patterns are expected to stay as they are. This means that wind energy production can continue to occur in places that are currently being targeted for that production.”

Even though global warming will supposedly shift wet and dry areas, it will not shift windy areas and so therefore we should all have a green light to continue to pour taxpayer money into possibly the single dumbest source of energy we could consider.

  • Renewable Guy

    Alan

    Your article doesn’t talk about huricanes. I haven’t read the whole article, but instead talks about strong winds. I would have to look a little more to see what they mean by strong winds.

    http://www.globalwarmingart.com/wiki/Wikipedia:hurricane#Global_warming

    The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory performed a simulation to determine if there is a statistical trend in the frequency or strength of tropical cyclones over time. The simulation concluded “the strongest hurricanes in the present climate may be upstaged by even more intense hurricanes over the next century as the earth’s climate is warmed by increasing levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere”.[141]

  • Renewable Guy

    netdr:
    Renewable

    I live in Dallas.

    You never did explain how we could depend upon wind for electricity and get through our usual 110 ° F summer heat waves with no wind.

    The very fact that there is no wind is why it gets so hot. So we should build excess coal capacity to “fill in” on those days and let it sit idle for the rest of the year ?

    Makes no sense to me.

    ######################################################

    http://www.visionofearth.org/industry/renewable-energy/renewable-energy-review/demand-side-management-to-help-build-a-renewable-power-grid/

    Part of the solution would be demand side management. Our grid is quite old and needs updating. Turning off unecessary loads helps to reduce backups or no backup needed. Hydo power storage. Compressed air energy storage. A whole vast array to choose from. Its a matter of engineering the solution.

  • netdr

    Renewable

    The upshot of Demand side management is “suffer ” ?

    What a lousy solution that is.

    Wind power will never be ready for prime time until the power can be stored from when it isn’t needed to when it is.

    For that matter solar power has the same problem.

    I had thought of the “hydro power storage” which I assume is pumping water into an elevated tank and releasing it to provide power. The losses would be severe from friction both up and down but you might get some storage that way. Treating it as a trivial detail is crazy.

    Compressed air is even worse.

    These and other renewable solutions should be researched thoroughly but they aren’t ready for prime time.

    Eventually we will have to use renewables because there will be no choice.

    The non renewable solutions are here and available and ready to bridge the gap. The global warming hysteria should not cause us to avoid using them.

  • Ted Rado

    Hydro and air storage of energy are absurd. Run a few calcs, for God’s sake!

    Example: For hydro storage, the pump power to move the water to a high reservoir must exceed the power to be stored (first law of thermo). Coming back down through the turbines, the electrity generated must be less than the power stored (again first law). The max efficeincy of the pumps and turbines combined is about 85%. Then there is the loss due to pressure drop in the piping. Also, the total electrical equipment in the storage system is twice the original power generated (100% up plus 100% down). The total electrical capacity is therefore over three times that required for the original power generation. Allowing for ineffiencies and pressure drops, we would need about three and a half times as much electrical equipment (total) as in the orinal power generation (wind or solar). On top of this, we would lose about a third of the energy in inefficiencies and pressure drop.

    Compressed air storage is even worse for thermodynamic reasons (heat of compression which is then lost to the surroundings,etc). Plus, air is much less dense than water, adding to the problem.

    Finally, if one calculates the volume of water or air required for storage, think BIG!!

    Another point: Since the wind only blows 30% of the time. the wind generators and storage pumps must be 3.3 times the capacity of the steady power demand, as we must produce and store ALL the power in 30% of the time.

    Try to imagine the amount of mechanical an electrical equipment required for all this!!

    It would be a blessing if people would run a few simple calcs before proposing absurd schemes. Merely quoting some idiotic project that is under way is absurd.

    Having followed all this AGW and alternative energy stuff for many years, I have come to the conclusion that our glorious leaders in Washington who push and subsidize this stuff are either crooks or morons, or both. Any third year engineering student could shoot this stuff down in a weekend. The professors who accept the grants to study this nonsense have become intellectual prostitutes. Yuk!

    A whole industry has grown up aroung government grants to study nonsense. For a good laugh (or smomach upset), go to the DOE website and read some of the idiotic projects..

  • Renewable Guy

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grid_energy_storage

    Contents [hide]
    1 Forms
    1.1 Batteries
    1.2 Electric Vehicles
    1.3 Compressed air
    1.4 Flywheel
    1.5 Hydrogen
    1.6 Pumped water
    1.6.1 Hydroelectric dam uprating
    1.7 Superconducting magnetic energy
    1.8 Thermal
    2 Economics
    2.1 Load leveling
    2.2 Energy demand management
    2.3 Portability
    2.4 Reliability
    #######################################################

    I’m short on time right now. I know Denmark is using hydro storage now quite successfully. I’m sure they don’t do it to loose money.

    The United States has a compressed air energy storage system in McIntosh Alabama that has been there since the 1990’s. If it wasn’t feasible to use then I’m sure they would find a way to stop using it. One is being built in Iowa now. It will have a 20 week supply of energy for backup. From what I have read it will have about 300 wind generators for night time charging and they will be able to sell at the higher daytime rates. It makes financial sense from that point of view.

  • Renewable Guy

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grid_energy_storage#Pumped_water

    Pumped waterMain article: Pumped-storage hydroelectricity
    In many places, pumped storage hydroelectricity is used to even out the daily generating load, by pumping water to a high storage reservoir during off-peak hours and weekends, using the excess base-load capacity from coal or nuclear sources. During peak hours, this water can be used for hydroelectric generation, often as a high value rapid-response reserve to cover transient peaks in demand. Pumped storage recovers about 75% of the energy consumed, and is currently the most cost effective form of mass power storage. The chief problem with pumped storage is that it usually requires two nearby reservoirs at considerably different heights, and often requires considerable capital expenditure.[18]

    #######################################################

    Surge power is very expensive from oil and natural gas plants. Hydro having a 75% efficiency is actually quite respectable compared to other forms of generation.

  • Ted Rado

    One can always find an example of a particular use, such as pumped storage. On a small local scale, many things, such as rooftop solar panels, are being done. I read an article recently re a study to use the elevation difference between Lake Erie and Lake Ontario for water power storage. Merely referencing some reported use does not make the scheme viable. Run the numbers! Merely pointing out that something is being done somewhere does not prove anything. We are spending 1.5 trillion more than we are taking in. That does not prove that deficit spending is a good idea.

  • Renewable Guy

    Ted Rado:
    One can always find an example of a particular use, such as pumped storage. On a small local scale, many things, such as rooftop solar panels, are being done. I read an article recently re a study to use the elevation difference between Lake Erie and Lake Ontario for water power storage. Merely referencing some reported use does not make the scheme viable. Run the numbers! Merely pointing out that something is being done somewhere does not prove anything. We are spending 1.5 trillion more than we are taking in. That does not prove that deficit spending is a good idea.

    #######################################################

    All of the energy industry is captital intensive Ted. That’s why it is gov regulated monopoly. Any new power is more expensive than old power. WIth global warming it means extensive expansion of renewable energy. Coal oil and eventually natural gas have to be worked out of the system. What are you going to replace it with. Nuclear makes its case but actually costs more than wind or solar. 80% nuclear power for the country will cost more than the renewables would. Plus 25,000 years of baby sitting spent nuclear rods. All that cost is trying to be put on the governent by the utitlities. Talk about a whopping subsidy. Nuclear is doing their damndest to push their huge risks on the government. Plus you have the NRC which is a revolving door for the nuclear industry.

    Republican stance during the 2008 election was a 100 billion subsidy for the nuclear industry. That same 100 billion for the renewable industry today could go much farther by making it a guaranteed loan system. That could be turned into a trillion dollars. Government only pays if someone defaults. The loan would go forward when there are the necessary contracts in place.

    That same 100 billion brings about a private investment of 900 billion. That can’t be done with nuclear because it is too risky of an investent. The money return on renewables is faster and can be reinvested several times before nuclear produces its very first kilowatt of electricity.

    WIth modernization of the energy grid energy efficiency can be increased giving the same comfort for less money. WIth energy efficiency then less power generation is needed requiring less of the power generators. Plus energy efficiency is the best bang for the buck out of any of the energy scenarios.

  • Renewable Guy

    http://www.windforme.org/pdfs/economics_of_wind.pdf

    If the right wind sight is chosen the cost of eletricity comes down substantialy. The way you are trying to approach this is way too simple.

    The larger the wind turbine the more that the costs will come down. The example given in this exercise was $790/kw. Which is very competitive.

    I’ve watched this area for a long time. The real obstacle to bringing down the cost of wind is political. I put this on the backs of conservatives. They are the clients of the fossil fuel industry. Wind can kick ass if given a better shot at support. Things are much more favorable for the fossil to build their industries than the wind industry. Once there is certainty in the market, the wind is very competitive. The powers that be know this.

  • Ted Rado

    More platitudes and no calcs; the history of “renewable energy”. Before this is all over, we will have wasted hundreds of billions on schemes that have no possibilty of large scale economic (without huge government subsidies) implementation.

    The Carter administration spent many billions (80 as I recall) on shale oil recovery. All down the drain. The USG spends 6 billion a year subsidizing ethanol. Result? High food prices, starvation in poor countries, and due to energy consumption in growing corn and converting it to ethanol, very little saving in oil usage. Saying that other energy sources are subsidized does not alter the facts. Other governments have also gone bonkers on subsidized nonsense. The German government pays 50c per KWH for solar power. All the Europeans are pulling in their horns on wind power, as they are going broke subsidizing it.

    If someone can show a detailed energy and material balance and total cost estimates for alternative schemes, I will be delighted to see them. Otherwise, quoting someone who is pushing some scheme to get USG money is idiotic. Do some calcs, for God’s sake.

    It will be interesting to look back ten years from now and see how all this played out.

    By the way, has anyone calculated the total cost of ethanol, including all the cost ripples it is causing? Growers of other crops switch to corn, thus increasing the price of the commodity previously grown. Meat prices go up. Marginal land is pressed into use, etc. ALL of these additional costs must accrue to ehtanol, not just the direct cost.

  • Joel

    OT: Quite a good essay

    http://sultanknish.blogspot.com/2011/05/end-of-world.html

    “The media has been having a prolonged belly laugh at a group that had the temerity to suggest that the world would end today. Of course it’s ridiculous when Harold Camping predicted that the world will be over today, but not when Al Gore predicted that the North Pole would melt in five years. True believers in Gore would say that’s the difference between science and eschatology. But when bogus science warns us of an apocalypse if we don’t follow the tenets of their ideology, then how much difference is there anyway?”

  • Renewable Guy

    Ted Rado:
    More platitudes and no calcs; the history of “renewable energy”. Before this is all over, we will have wasted hundreds of billions on schemes that have no possibilty of large scale economic (without huge government subsidies) implementation.

    #########################################################

    This publication referenced into other studies and somebody else did the calcs. The subsidies are based on production of electricity. We are lower in subsidies than Europe. And there are still investers moving forward. It speaks for itself.

    Production tax credit for wind from the 2005 article is 1.5 cents per kilowatt hour. This is still an imature industry where as oil and coal aren’t and are still recieving subsidies. Of we have the conservatives protecting the tax subsidies of the fossil fuel industries and yet renewables shouldn’t have it. The wind gens earn money, pay taxes to local governments supporting schools, paying farmers for leases. The farmers in Texas call it mail box money. They spend their whole lives shaking dice with the risk of farming of good years and bad years. The money earned from wind gens give them certainty in their income.

    What you say Ted and what the reality is are two different things.

  • Renewable Guy

    Ted

    If someone can show a detailed energy and material balance and total cost estimates for alternative schemes, I will be delighted to see them. Otherwise, quoting someone who is pushing some scheme to get USG money is idiotic. Do some calcs, for God’s sake.
    #######################################################

    You haven’t shown a single calculation Ted. I do nothing but show work that other people have done. And you show nothing. Where is your work to refute what I am saying? Maybe heartland institute, the national post, Forbes? Any real work you want to show me?

  • Renewable Guy

    Joel:
    OT: Quite a good essay

    http://sultanknish.blogspot.com/2011/05/end-of-world.html

    “The media has been having a prolonged belly laugh at a group that had the temerity to suggest that the world would end today. Of course it’s ridiculous when Harold Camping predicted that the world will be over today, but not when Al Gore predicted that the North Pole would melt in five years. True believers in Gore would say that’s the difference between science and eschatology. But when bogus science warns us of an apocalypse if we don’t follow the tenets of their ideology, then how much difference is there anyway?”

    ########################################################

    A blog?

    Al Gore more than likely didn’t say it the way that you are stating. I leave it up to you to find that Al said in five years.

    By the way the ice is decreasing in the artic. That’s being observed.

  • Renewable Guy

    http://www.greencarcongress.com/2011/05/regalbuto-20110521.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+greencarcongress%2FTrBK+%28Green+Car+Congress%29&utm_content=My+Yahoo

    I’m not wild about ethanol made from corn. Interesting thing about corn Ted. 90% of it grown in the United States isn’t fit for human consumption. Its for cattle and hogs.

  • Renewable Guy

    http://blogs.worldwatch.org/revolt/denmark%E2%80%99s-road-to-a-low-carbon-energy-efficient-economy/

    By Anders Østervang, First Secretary, Economic Affairs, Danish Embassy

    This country is making the commitment to 100% renewable energy and they will maintain economic growth while doing so.

    ########################################################

    As the world’s population grows and emerging economies expand rapidly, global demand and competition for energy are set to intensify in the decades to come. This will likely drive up prices of the world’s finite oil and other fossil fuel resources, which are concentrated largely in a handful of politically unstable countries. The International Energy Agency projects that global energy demand will increase 34 percent by 2035.

    ########################################################

    Do you get it yet Ted? Cheap energy is over. Oil is on the world market. Even if the United States produces more oil, we still pay world oil market prices. If the Saudis don’t like the price all they do is drop production. There is no independent oil anymore in price. Gone. The Koch Brothers put it in their cash register and say thank you very much.

    ########################################################

    Importantly—and with a bearing on the current debate in the United States—we did this while securing economic growth. Since 1980, the Danish economy has grown by almost 80 percent while our energy consumption has remained more or less flat and CO2 emissions have fallen. We have also seen the development of a strong and globally competitive energy efficiency and sustainable energy industry.

    ########################################################

    The conservatives in the United States are over the edge with the tea party stuff. Progressives are forced to wait for the conservatives to finally get on board. The conservatives can’t see the change coming and don’t want to look at it. If you stop listening to scared money people in your group, you might get control back that’s been hijacked.

  • Renewable Guy

    http://blogs.worldwatch.org/revolt/denmark%E2%80%99s-road-to-a-low-carbon-energy-efficient-economy/

    As in Austria, individual communities have helped drive this development. One example is the pioneering island of Samsoe, home to 61,000 inhabitants. In 1997, Samsoe entered a Danish government challenge along with four other islands to cut its carbon footprint and increase production of renewable energy—and won. Afterward, Samsoe decided to continue what it had started and is now entirely self-sufficient. It is even selling surplus energy generated by windmills. It has cut its carbon footprint by 140 percent (carbon emissions are now in effect negative, since Samsoe is selling clean power to other communities).

    #######################################################

    No Ted, its just ridiculous and ludicrous. Wind is dumb as blog using blogs to back up its point. WHile I use examples of the real world. If the real world examples aren’t good enough for you, possibly another coyote blog will work for you based on cherry picking.

    This island ignored you Ted and did their own math and they now export wind energy. They are making money. They are independent of the mainland for electricity.

    For god sakes Ted prove to me that they are wrong and dumb.

  • Renewable Guy

    http://blogs.worldwatch.org/revolt/denmark%E2%80%99s-road-to-a-low-carbon-energy-efficient-economy/

    Essentially, in Denmark we see the green trajectory that we have embarked on as a win-win. As we ensure our future energy independence and insulate ourselves from global rising energy prices, we also are demonstrating a responsible and sustainable approach to global resources and climate change and expanding the domestic market for new and innovative technologies and, in turn, export opportunities for Danish companies in a growing global market for smart energy solutions. While the government’s strategy is fully financed, consumers will likely see moderate increases in their heating and power bills. But you can also look at that as paying an insurance premium against rising fossil fuel costs in the future!

    ########################################################

    And so Ted, they did this without one cent of your taxes.
    As grid and battery storage improves, the Dutch are carfully and thoughtfully working their forward. This is the future world market and the future energy market. Depending on unstable countries for our essential oil energy has never been a smart move on the part of the United States. To not move or change is one of the dumbest moves on earth and is a recipe for future problems in this area. Like I said, I’m waiting for the conservatives to get their act together. There’s too much influence on your party by the fossil fuels. The contributions from the fossil fuel industry is 3 to 1 infavor of the republicans. Its no coincidence that conservatives in congress fight clean energy. If we don’t invest at a higher rate, there will be consequences for our country.

  • Renewable Guy

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2011/05/nobel-laureates-speak-out-2/

    On Wednesday, 17 Nobel laureates who gathered in Stockholm have published a remarkable memorandum, asking for “fundamental transformation and innovation in all spheres and at all scales in order to stop and reverse global environmental change”. The Stockholm Memorandum concludes that we have entered a new geological era: the Anthropocene, where humanity has become the main driver of global change. The document states:

    Science makes clear that we are transgressing planetary boundaries that have kept civilization safe for the past 10,000 years. […]

    We can no longer exclude the possibility that our collective actions will trigger tipping points, risking abrupt and irreversible consequences for human communities and ecological systems.

    We cannot continue on our current path. The time for procrastination is over. We cannot afford the luxury of denial.

    Keep global warming below 2ºC, implying a peak in global CO2 emissions no later than 2015 and recognise that even a warming of 2ºC carries a very high risk of serious impacts and the need for major adaptation efforts.

    #########################################################

    For those of you that talk about swallowing the koolaid or follow the money, you will now have to include nobel laureates.

    Your spere gets smaller and the evidence of AGW acceptance gets bigger. Keep practicing your illusion.

    You’ll need the help of Fox News on this one. Or maybe Anthony Watts will come up with a winner for you.

  • netdr

    Nobel laureates are given for “good intentions” not actual accomplishment any more. I am not impressed. The climate crusade gives it to itself to impress the gullible.

    President Obama was given his Nobel for good intentions, he hadn’t done anything yet. Al Gore’s faulty film “An Inconvenient Truth” was done with “good intentions”.[We hope] The actual science was deceptive and incorrect on many levels.

    There were many fallacies but my favorite is:

    He had these huge graphs showing CO2 and temperature going up and down together but deceptively failed to mention that CO2 lagged temperature by 800 years although he had to know it by then. If you listen to the exact words he used they were deceptive and carefully crafted to create a false impression. I have read them over and over and wondered at his skill in deception without quite lying. It is an art form !

    I call that deliberate deception [for a good cause?] !

    The entire climate crusade is rife with deception for a “noble cause”!

    “On the one hand, as scientists we are ethically bound to the scientific method, in effect promising to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but—which means that we must include all the doubts, the caveats, the ifs, ands, and buts. On the other hand, we are not just scientists but human beings as well. And like most people we’d like to see the world a better place, which in this context translates into working to reduce the risk of potentially disastrous climatic change. To do that, we need, to get some broad base support, to capture the public’s imagination. That, of course, entails getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention about any doubts we might have. This “double ethical bind” we frequently find ourselves in cannot be solved by any formula. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest. I hope that means being both.”

    Since it is impossible to be alarming and correct at the same time most model makers settle for alarming. By the time the model crashes and burns it will be 20 years later and the individual may be safely retired or come up with a new model which will also crash and burn.

  • JP

    “Do you get it yet Ted? Cheap energy is over. Oil is on the world market. Even if the United States produces more oil, we still pay world oil market prices. If the Saudis don’t like the price all they do is drop production. There is no independent oil anymore in price. Gone. The Koch Brothers put it in their cash register and say thank you very much.”

    And just 2 years ago we saw oil prices crash from $150/barrel to $37/barrel in just under 4 months. Oil and commodity prices are subject to currency inflation, and the availability of liquidity. Since Jan 2009 the price of oil rose primairily as a function of the actions of the Fed. Demand for oil globally is not anywhere near its peak of 2006-2007. A good example of this is the sell-off the last 2 weeks after Bernecke announced the end of QE2. And if Bernecke ever begins raising long term interest rates again (they are currently in the negative range), the price of oil will drop below $70/barrel, perhaps $50/barrel.

    Currently hedge funds managers are watching the actions of both the Fed and our federal government. The weakness of not just the Dollar, but also the Euro have created an artificial price signal. Speculators have also attempted ramp up commodities in a vain attempt to find suckers. Now, there are too many investors who own too many oil futures and not enough customers to sell too.

  • Ted Rado

    The only feasible thermal power backup for wind and solar power is open cycle gas turbines. This was discussed before. If gas turbine efficiency is 27%, conventional boiler power 37%, and the wind blows 30% of the time, it works out that fuel consumption is reduced by only 5% rather than 30%. One article claims that it is worse, since fuel is consumed during startup and shutdown procedures. Thus the interest in water and other storage schemes. These are also not feasible, as pointed out before. The reason that wind power (and solar) are being done at all is because of government subsidies and free existing standby. Until a TOTAL plan is worked out, none of these alternative energy schemes can be relied on for future large scale power supply. So far, no feasible scheme has been put forward. Many are under study, but none are physically or economically workable. The only non-fossil-fuel energy scheme that is proven, economical, and readily available is nuclear. The greenies seem to be against this approach, so who knows where we will end up?

    There is no doubt that the era of plentiful cheap energy will come to an end. The growth of population and standard of living, coupled with depletion of fossil fuel resources, will drive up energy costs. In a few hundred years (or less), the world will have to change. One can speculate on what such a world will look like. Perhaps more compact communities where people walk to work will return. Perhaps we will have enormous nuclear power generation and ride trolleys and trains. It seems unlikely that, owing to its intermittent nature and the backup problems previously pointed out, wind and solar will be more than a minor side issue in the power picture. Nobody has come up with a workable scheme to deal with this on/off problem. Merely saying that the Danes or someone else is doing it does not solve the problem. (What do the Danes do when the wind stops?)Meanwhile, huge amounts of taxpayer subsidized money is being spent without a comprehensive long term plan, which must cover everything, including backup and economic problems. By the way, the USG seems to realize this, as they are funding all sorts of backup and energy storage studies. If the problem was solved and all we had to do was build more windmills, why these studies? As pointed out many times, every energy scheme, including backup, can readily be shown to be unfeasible, if one does a few calcs. The literature is full of such studies, and any engineer can easily do them hiself. I guess it is easier to say “but someone is doing it, so it must be a good idea”. The last leming to march into the sea probably said that as well.

    I have read that the Europeans are pulling in their horns on wind subsidies, as they are breaking the bank.

    It would be a blessing if those pushing wind power would clearly explain how to deal with these myriad problems. Merely saying the Danes are doing it is not a rational argument.

  • Renewable Guy

    Ted Rado:
    The only feasible thermal power backup for wind and solar power is open cycle gas turbines.
    #########################################################

    NOt so. The spanish have developed a molten salt system in their solar thermal electric plants. Its over 95% efficient. Just off of the salts alone they can go for 7 hours and then afterwards they can use natural gas.

  • Ted Rado

    The old solar power plant in the Mojave desert had a gas fired heater that came on at night to heat the heat transfer fluid. This enabled power to be generated at night as well as by day. I presume the Spaniards do the same. The natural gas is the backup. This is not energy storage in the sense we are discussing.

    Trying to discuss engineering matters with someone who is not only completely ignorant of technical matters, but determined to remain so, is a waste of time. Auf wiedersehen.

  • Renewable Guy

    Ted:

    When you are ready to show why it doesn’t work I am willing to look at it. You haven’t shown me a thing. Your engineering skills have gone to waste because you just aren’t using them.

    http://climatecrocks.com/2011/05/21/bringing-moores-law-to-solar/

    This guy is building a solar tower in the United States and China and India. So for something that doesn’t work why is everybody getting in on the act? Keep in mind the utilities are dependent on the government because all electric distribution is capital intensive.

    http://climateprogress.org/2011/01/16/how-to-use-solar-energy-at-night-concentrated-solar-thermal-power-with-storage/

    “There’s a term called round-trip efficiency. Basically, it’s a measure of how much electricity is produced if the thermal energy that’s generated is first stored and then used compared to just directly taking the energy. That number is around 93 percent,” explains NREL senior engineer Greg Glatzmaier. “[For] things like compressed air and mechanical type storage, there’s more significant losses,” an average of at least 20 percent over all the various technologies.

    ###############################################################

    There is a difference between what you say Ted and what the reality on the ground is. People are doing the work and building the projects in spite of your pessimism.

  • Duracomm

    A wise economist once said

    Look, for a big enough subsidy we could take used toilet paper and make dental floss. And that subsidy would be popular with industry.

    Renewable guy has slaughtered thousands of innocent pixels proving that point.

    Green Jobs: They Don’t Exist

    We gave Evergreen Solar millions and millions of dollars, nearly $50 million, to subsidize production of solar energy panels.

    But they closed shop and moved to China.

    Now the U.S. is mad at China…FOR SUBSIDIZING PRODUCTION OF SOLAR ENERGY PANELS!

  • Renewable Guy

    Duracomm,

    All of the energy industry has been subsidized. Got a grudge there?

    There is also freedom of everyone to express themselves here. Our differences make for stimulating conversation.

    Our difference would be
    Global warming

    co2 vibrates at frequencies in the infrared range. John Tyndal figured that one out back in 1862.

    Over 200 years of looking at green house theory.

    Carbon fuels are on the way out. This kind of change brings out a lot of emotions.

  • Duracomm

    Renewable guy said,

    All of the energy industry has been subsidized. Got a grudge there?

    Not a grudge. A dislike of renewable energy corporate welfare pigs taking tax money from people who have less money than them to increase pollution.

    Why do you fanatically support an industry that dumps highly toxic pollution on poor people in China?

    Solar Energy Firms Leave Waste Behind in China

    The first time Li Gengxuan saw the dump trucks from the nearby factory pull into his village, he couldn’t believe what happened.

    Stopping between the cornfields and the primary school playground, the workers dumped buckets of bubbling white liquid onto the ground. Then they turned around and drove right back through the gates of their compound without a word.

    It’s a green energy company, producing polysilicon destined for solar energy panels sold around the world.

    But the byproduct of polysilicon production — silicon tetrachloride — is a highly toxic substance that poses environmental hazards.

  • Renewable Guy

    Not a grudge. A dislike of renewable energy corporate welfare pigs taking tax money from people who have less money than them to increase pollution.

    ########################################################

    Sounds like renewable energy is bad to you and burning coal is ok. Does this one example mean the whole industry is bad. Becuase electronics manufacturing uses the same processes as renewable solar electric.

    From coal alone it was estimated that there is 51 billion dollars in health costs. The waste can be corrected from solar, burning coal puts out mercury and many other poisons. Plus all the energy industries get subsidies.

  • Duracomm

    Renewable Guy said,

    Does this one example mean the whole industry is bad.

    That argument means you must think that bp’s Macondo blowout says nothing bad about the oil business because, as you said “Does this one example mean the whole industry is bad.”

    That is unless you are not being consistent and are just arguing for more corporate welfare for renewable energy polluters.

    You would not be inconsistent on issues like this would you?

  • Renewable Guy

    Duracomm:
    Renewable Guy said,

    Does this one example mean the whole industry is bad.

    That argument means you must think that bp’s Macondo blowout says nothing bad about the oil business because, as you said “Does this one example mean the whole industry is bad.”

    That is unless you are not being consistent and are just arguing for more corporate welfare for renewable energy polluters.

    You would not be inconsistent on issues like this would you?

    ####################################################

    Renewable Energy has the capability to make up ground where the fossil fuels have damaged the earth. All Energies have very high capital investments. That is why the electric utilities have a controled monopoly. I haven’t stopped buring gas, but I look forward to the day that our country can get out of the problems that fossil fuels are causing. There are problems from renewable energy also. Global warming, fuel security, intensive environmental damage are some of the problems of the fossil fuels. Now peak oil is becoming reality. If that isn’t clear to you then you will just have to see and feel the results happening in the future.

  • Ted Rado

    Duracomm:

    I admire you for trying to have an intelligent discussion with renewable guy. He loses every argument, but rather than face that fact, changes the subject to a new red herring. As has been pointed out many times, for the AGW people’s schemes to work, one has to demonstrate three things: That the AGW CO2 thing is true (under debate), there is a viable alternative (so far, absolutely not), and the Chinese and Indians are on board (definitely NOT). Until that time comes, we are wasting much money and chasing industry to China without accomplishing anything.

    AS has been pointed out repeatedly, wind, solar, ethanol, etc. would not be viable without huge subsidies and free standby. Most of these alternative energy schemes can be studied on paper and proven to be unworkable. This sort of study is routine in the engineering field and saved lots of money. A few thousand dollars of engineering time saves billions in stupid projects. I have done scores of such studies myself over the years. One can readily do the same for “aternative Energy” schmes. I have pointed this out to reneawable, but all he does is change the subject or drag out another red herring.

    This blog could be a useful venue to discuss the subject, but some choose to turn it into a platform for their enviroloony rants. Again, my compliments for your brave efforts.

  • Renewable Guy

    Ted,
    Nuclear is more dependent than any other form of power on gov support. All renewables are less so. Utilities are given a monopoly because of the capital intensive nature of providing electricity.

    Wind is the second fastest growing energy source in the world after natural gas. Business people obviously don’t have your point of view. China and India are both stepping up their investment in renewable energy.

  • Ted Rado

    Business people go where the money is. If the government subsidized the sale of used toilet paper, there would be a thriving industry. If left alone, economic forces would take us to the best result. The idea that politicians know better is nonsense. Look at the Soviet Union (not to mention zillions of failed USG programs).

    Private industry took the energy business to where it is. Inventors and businessmen have been looking for new energy sources since the dawn of civilization. The idea that the gurus in DC can do better, and should pick projects to be funded, is the most absurd notion I can imagine. How many engineers are ther in the USG? Just a bunch of vote-buying politicians who are technically illiterate (Nancy of ethanol fame is an example).

    In Spain, the government is cutting back on unsustainable wind and solar subsidies, and the indusrty is collapsing or moving to China. Over 40 billion has been spent on subsidies. What a way to run a country!

    There should be no subsidies for anything. Period. If a scheme is unworkable, it should die. That’s what happens in private industry. We are ruining the normal economic processes for “the common good”. What a bunch of crap.

    Don’t bother to change the subject again. I am done.

  • Duracomm

    Renewable guy said

    Renewable Energy has the capability to make up ground where the fossil fuels have damaged the earth.

    The statement “capability to make up ground where the fossil fuels have damaged the earth.” is nebulous.

    Would you please clarify what you mean by this statement and perhaps provide an example.

  • Renewable Guy

    Once the renewable energy is set in, transporation of oil and coal is greatly reduced or no longer exists. This is an energy savings and can count as efficiency.

    With coal the land no longer has to be torn apart. In Illinois in the past they did strip mining.

    WIth oil there is no longer the risk of environmental damage from oil spills and equipment malfunctions causing oil pollution.

    From the global warming point of view, co2 will cause increased warming with further use of oil and coal. That will be eliminated.

    To bring a better sense of national security, renewable energy is the only really 100% home grown energy. To keep soldiers home more, renewable energy will save soldiers lives.

    Health of the nation. Coal and oil contribute to premature deaths of infants and the old. It contributes to lower health in our country, increases health costs, decreases productivity in workers in general.

    Peak oil is here now and peak coal will arrive soon. They both will be difficult to continue using if we don’t at least get more efficient cars, trucks and furnaces.

    Coal ash will no longer have to be stored causing pollution problems. TVA had a huge ash dam broken ruining 400 acres of land.

    No toxic wastes from wind, some from solar photovoltaics, if handled properly can be minimized. In the hands of the wrong people, it could be a serious problem.

    Wind components can be completely recycled and used over.

    Wind energy placed in the Atlantic ocean can produce more energy on top of the ocean than drilling for the oil underneath. Same for the shale oil out west.

  • Renewable Guy

    http://www.ree.es/ingles/sistema_electrico/informeSEE-avance2010.asp

    •The increase of renewable energy generation on the one hand, and the lower production from thermal power plants on the other, have contributed to a reduction of CO2 emissions from the electricity sector which has been estimated at 58.7 million tonnes, 20% less than in 2009.

    This is one of the goals of renewable energy.

    Spain has also been hurt by the world recession. As far as China goes, everyone that is anyone is going to china because they are investing in renewable energy moreso than everyone else in the world.

  • Renewable Guy

    The true skeptic questions what is happening to give it truth tests. The denier is just too uncomfortable to accept the truth.

    http://www.climate-skeptic.com/2011/05/global-warming-will-substantially-change-all-weather-except-wind-which-stays-the-same.html/comment-page-1#comment-15795

    do you believe sea level is rising?
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/sea-level-rise.htm

    Do you believe the oceans are warming?
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/cooling-oceans-intermediate.htm

    Do you believe glaciers are retreating?
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/himalayan-glaciers-growing-intermediate.htm

    Do you see that spring is coming earlier?
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/advancing-spring-global-warming.htm

    If carbon dioxide is causing warming, we should measure less heat escaping to space.
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/empirical-evidence-for-co2-enhanced-greenhouse-effect.htm

    nights to warm faster than days and winters to warm faster than summers
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/The-human-fingerprint-in-the-daily-cycle.html
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/The-human-fingerprint-in-the-seasons.html

    This consensus of evidence is the reason why we have a consensus of scientists with 97 out of 100 climate experts convinced that humans are driving global warming.
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/global-warming-scientific-consensus-intermediate.htm

  • Renewable Guy

    http://www.stanford.edu/group/efmh/jacobson/Articles/I/JDEnPolicyPt1.pdf

    From a study by Jacobson and Delucchi The WWS system that they came up with used 50% wind by 2030 to provide energy into the electrical grid system. This was for transportation and heating homes also. From table 4 he gives the number for the United States and a number for the world of how many wind generators will be needed.

    Just for the United States at the 5MW level we will need 590,000 generators. I’ve been around the field enough to know some of the general numbers for cost of constructing wind generators. $3000/kw will be high for land based but low for ocean based generators. An easy back of the napkin calculation would give

    $3000/KW X 5000kw/gen = 8.85 trillion dollars by 2030 in this scenario.

    So this looks like a pretty big number, but I want to give a comparison to fossil fuels

  • Renewable Guy

    http://www.environmentamerica.org/home/reports/report-archives/new-energy-future/new-energy-future/the-high-cost-of-fossil-fuels

    The economic and environmental burden of fossil fuel dependence will only worsen in the years to come.

    •The United States will spend an estimated $23 trillion on fossil fuels between 2010 and 2030 should energy consumption and fossil fuel prices follow U.S. government projections – an amount equivalent to three years’ worth of income for the entire American workforce at current earning rates.

    •Fossil fuel expenditures will decline in the next several years due to the lingering effects of the economic recession, but annual expenditures of more than $1 trillion per year – which proved devastating to the economy during early 2008 – will become the “new normal” by the middle of the next decade. By 2030, the United States can expect to spend approximately $360 billion more per year on fossil fuels than we did in 2006.

    •If fossil fuel prices are driven higher, faster, the United States could expect to spend more than $30 trillion on fossil fuels between 2010 and 2030. Fossil fuel expenditures would again surpass $1 trillion in 2011 and by 2030 we will be spending $750 billion more per year on fossil fuels than the nation did in 2006.

    •Oil prices are a main driver of higher expenditures. If oil prices reach $200 per barrel by 2030 – an event more likely to happen as world oil supplies become increasingly strained – the United States will be spending $1.3 trillion out of $1.6 trillion total fossil fuel costs on oil alone.

    •Rising fossil fuel expenditures will affect all 50 states, but states with a greater reliance on fossil fuels, particularly oil, will experience greater increases. (See Appendix A for projected fossil fuel expenditures for all 50 states.)

    ########################################################

    This study was back from 2009, but isn’t out of line. $200/barrel oil I don’t believe to be an exageration. WIth simply just the mideast uprising, the price of oil went up even though world supply was very good. We reached $110/barrel oil just on fear and speculators alone.

    #########################################################

    http://www.financialexpress.com/news/fe-editorial-new-asian-drama/786518/

    The report forecasts a blistering 9% growth in Asia’s middle class spending every year through 2030, driven primarily by China, India and Indonesia. Specific to India, the report predicts the middle class population will reach 1.19 billion by 2030 and 1.40 billion by 2050. This, coupled with the growth in China’s middle class (1.12 billion by 2030, 1.24 billion by 2050), effectively puts Asia at the centre of world economic growth in the coming decades. By 2050, the numbers suggest India will be leading this push, with a larger middle class than even China, and a per capita GDP of…

    ########################################################

    When I see this report, there won’t be enough oil to really go around. I believe we will start to feel the effects of this by the middle or end of the decade. This also fuels the theory of PEAK OIL.

    The really only way out is fuel efficiency and electrification.

    THe post above was for an agressive push for 100% renewable energy by 2030. I have been reading about a 60 mpg fleet average by I believe by 2025. From what I see happening it would be smart and prudent to do even more than that.

  • Renewable Guy

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/31/us/31wind.html?_r=2&ref=us

    Sherman County, which earned $315,000 in property taxes from the first wind farm in 2002, raked in $3 million from wind farms in 2010. The bounty, while mostly flowing to the farmers who lease their land for the turbines, also benefits the public. Taxes, fees and assessments on more than 1,000 megawatts of wind turbine capacity have brought $17.5 million in nine years to a county with just 1,735 residents.

    The county’s four towns — Wasco, Moro, Rufus and Grass Valley — are prospering. At Sherman Junior/Senior High School in Moro, wind money paid for new computers, musical instruments, robotics equipment, portions of a greenhouse and a new teacher to instruct the most gifted of its 124 students last year.

    “Right now, when many districts around the state are gutting everything, we don’t have to,” said Ivan Ritchie, superintendent of the Sherman County School District and principal of Sherman Elementary School in Grass Valley.

    Every Sherman County head of household who has owned property for more than a year qualifies to receive money. Though the county can afford more, Judge Thompson said it decided to keep the checks lower than $600 to spare two clerks from having to file hundreds of related tax forms.

    “The opportunity for wind development is going to be what helps agriculture continue in these agricultural areas,” said Cheryl Woods, Praise the Wind’s chief financial officer, “because it’s getting more and more expensive to farm and the margin is getting narrower and narrower.” Ms. Woods said annual royalty payments of between $5,500 and $7,800 per turbine have saved some farms.

    At Kathy Neihart’s Lean-To Cafe and Goose Pit Saloon in Wasco, construction workers and wind technicians have kept her business alive, she said. Two years ago, the restaurant and bar appeared headed for closing. Now, it is out of debt and Ms. Neihart has bought a car.

    “It’s been wonderful,” she said. “It’s just a fabulous, happy pile of money.”

  • Duracomm

    Renewable Guy: said,

    Global warming, fuel security, intensive environmental damage are some of the problems of the fossil fuels.

    The problem is the “renewable” technologies you love so much cause the same problems.

    On top of that the “renewable” technologies increase poverty and starvation.

    Nuclear Reactor May Kill 192,000 Annually Oh, wait a minute. I got that wrong. I meant ethanol reactor, not nuclear reactor.

    Research by the World Bank indicates that the increase in biofuels production over 2004 levels would push more than 35 million additional people into absolute poverty in 2010 in developing countries.

    Using statistics from the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr. Indur Goklany estimates that this would lead to at least 192,000 excess deaths per year, plus disease resulting in the loss of 6.7 million disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) per year.

    Renewable guy why do you continue to support renewable technology when so much of it causes massive harm to those in poverty?

  • Renewable Guy

    If biofuels aren’t sustainable ecologically, then I’m not for it. Goldman Sachs is predicting $5.00/gallon gas this summer. We seem to be heading towards a double dip recession just after oil spikes in prices.

    So how are we going to maintain a form of transportation?

  • Renewable Guy

    http://climatecrocks.com/

    http://climatecrocks.com/2011/04/07/wisconsin-republicans-and-apparently-all-republicans-hate-new-energy-continued/

    There seems to be a lot of resistance to renewable energy coming online. I believe that it is centered in the conservative relationship with the fossil fuel industry. Oil is going to go through the roof in price this decade. We will have mini recessions based on the price of oil. And yet there is this irrational resistance to anything new.

    Its time you republicans get your party back from big oil and the tea party. We are in for a big mess if they are getting their way with stalling out the transition to clean energy.

  • Wally

    Renewable,

    The only thing stalling the transition to “clean” energy is technological progress itself, along with in house fighting among environmentalists groups. Meaning we don’t have the capability to haul large amounts of stuff with anything other than oil products supplying the energy. Then the only option that offers a glimmer of hope, nuclear power, is loved and hated by subgroups on both the right and left. We simply can’t replace coal, natural gas and oil as power sources for both transportation and otherwise with “clean” energy and not rely nearly exclussively on the production of more nuclear power. And even then, how do we build enough batteries to power the 200M cars driving 2.5T miles (just in America) each year? And when do finally invent the battery that will allow me to power my Toyota Sequoia for maybe 300 miles, much less an 18-wheeler weighing 80,000 lbs going over the grapevine?

    If you’re main concern is the price of oil/gas causing recessions, forcing some transition to “clean” energy before the technology is ready is only going to make the problem you fear worse. Frankly, there is little we can do to make a material impact in the demand for oil in the next 10 years, short of simply regulating ourselves in poverty, thus reducing our ability to consume oil.

  • Ted Rado

    WallY:

    Well said. We do not have any alternative energy schemes that are viable on a large scale. Until we do, doing away(via mandate or taxation) with fossil fuels is absurd, unless we want to go back to the stone age.

  • Renewable Guy

    Wally and Ted,

    A great deal of freight can be put on trains which can be electrified. It takes a long term commitment. Right now Republicans are even denying high speed trains. They are cheaper than air traveland more energy efficient. Gas will get more expensive, tar sands and shale oil are the most destructive and expensive way to get oil. Most oil left to find is more expensive to get to. Batteries and electric motors are 3 times more efficient than the gas engine.

    You seem quite satisfied that you will just pay more with no solutions worth doing.

    Right now Nuclear energy is off the table for several countrys in the world.

    Sone how you seem to have lost touch that the government partners with business to bring new technologies to the table. Take for instance the internet.

    Plus back to the “Wind is dumb” argument. Wind pays for itself at the very same level that all the other energies get in subsidies. Including big oil which would survive just fine without it. Give wind a level playing field to compete on, and it will win many a contract on its own.

  • Renewable Guy

    http://www.salon.com/news/env/energy/index.html?story=/tech/htww/2011/06/06/sun_wind_anti_energy

    I’ll go along with you guy’s idea about global warming being a small chance of happening. But if you are wrong the 97% of peer review papered climatologists are right, wouldn’t you want the option to turn to solutions that are american rather than chinese? Above 9 tea party republicans want to can NREL. Solar is rapidly coming down in price and wind has become cheaper every year.

    Where is your planning ahead for possibilities. These tea party conservatives are in with the big fossil fuelboys distorting the energy picture of the United States. This is the kind of thing that will force us into more wars and stay dependent on imported oil.

    I believe the conservatives have lost their way on this.

  • Renewable Guy

    http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2011/06/06/237150/stunner-new-nuclear-costs-as-much-as-german-solar-power-today-and-up-to-0-34kwh-in-2018/

    New nuclear costs more than solar.

    The cabinet of Germany’s conservative government on Monday voted to take the country out of nuclear permanently by 2022. Not to be outdone on the right, the country’s opposition parties say that’s not fast enough.

    Bavaria’s conservative party has gone even further and says that while it was first in German nuclear power it will now be first in exiting nuclear. Bavaria, known as the “Texas of Germany” for its conservatism, gets more than 50% of its electricity from nuclear energy.

    ########################################################

    At what point is Nuclear too expensive for you? Is it good that nuclear gets a bucket load of subsidies?

  • Ted Rado

    There are a whole bunch of things that are promulgated by governments that are technical and economic nonsense. Stating that governments A and B are doing something is proof that it is a good idea is idiotic. Let competitve economics sort it out. If it is a good idea, many private organizations will rush in to do it. Unfortunately, politicians rush in and then in a panic rush out. Nuclear energy is a good example. The idea that some idiots in Washington will determine such things rather than competitive private industry does not fill my heart with joy.